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Bangkok Climate Negotiations In Progress

bkk meet logo 350 cropThe second week of the Climate Negotiations in Bangkok, Thailand began today, in what is the penultimate meeting before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The gathering from 28 September to 9 October is being attended by more than 4,000 participants, including government delegates from 177 countries, representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions.

Speaking in Copenhagen on Saturday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded delegates that they have just ten official negotiating days left to secure a global climate deal. When the Bangkok negotiations conclude this Friday, October 5th, only the five official negotiating days of the November 2-6 meeting in Barcelona will remain, before countries must agree upon a definitive document in Copenhagen to replace the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva opened the two-week meeting last Monday, addressing government delegates in Bangkok and urging collective action: “The Summit was able to renew our collective engagement on the issue of climate change at the very highest levels. So I hope that the political will and vision expressed by all leaders in New York will now guide you, as negotiators and concerned national officials, on the road to Copenhagen.” “There is no plan B," he added. “If we do not realize plan A, we go straight to plan F, which stands for failure.”

The Thai Prime Minister was followed by Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Executive Secretary, reiterating the call for a comprehensive, ambitious and fair international climate change deal in Copenhagen. He also called for improved inter-agency cooperation and coordination at the UN. In last week’s talks, focus was on the five key areas world leaders subscribed to at the Climate Summit in New York in September: adaptation action, REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), technology, capacity building, and institutional arrangements for finance.

Speaking again at a press conference on Friday, Yvo de Boer said the gains made during the first week of negotiations at Bangkok were promising, in particular in the areas of adaptation, technology and capacity-building in developing countries. However, he noted that doubts remain regarding two issues that are considered key to success in Copenhagen: rich nation emission reduction targets and financial support for climate change action in developing countries.

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