WWF cool on lukewarm outcome in Bonn climate talks



Posted on 17 June 2011  | 
Draining, denuding and denying habitat for acacia plantations in Riau. Decomposing peat soils then become major contributors to global climate change
© WWF-IndonesiaEnlarge
Bonn, Germany: In contrast to its slow start, the United Nations climate talks have picked up pace this week and could help set the stage for the conference in Durban, South Africa at the end of this year, WWF said today.

“While progress is still uneven, parties have returned to constructive talks and have been moving forward step by step,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF delegation leader, reflecting on negotiations at the UNFCCC Intersessional Conference on Climate Change ending today in Bonn.

“While we feel slightly more optimistic for a positive outcome in Durban,” said Essop. “The process is so volatile that even progress on technical issues are often held hostage by fundamental political issues like the future of the Kyoto Protocol, equity and overall ambition”

Given the International Energy Agency’s recent report that 2010 saw the highest level of emissions ever, it is clear that we need countries to have a greater sense of urgency.

“Step by step progress is not enough, what we need now is a shift into high gear and a resolution of the difficult issues blocking agreement.”

Progress was made on some areas, notably on climate change adaptation, and in most areas there are draft texts on the table that can form the basis for more focused negotiations at the next session.

While no real progress was made on increasing the levels of ambition in emissions reductions, parties did recognize the problem of the ‘gigatonne gap.’

“WWF wants parties to deal with this gap as well as reach agreement on when emissions must peak and start declining. Countries agreed in Cancun to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and now need to ensure that they get on a pathway to meeting that goal as well as increasing ambition beyond that”

It is clear that progress in these negotiations depends on agreements on a core set of fundamental issues that include agreement on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol starting in 2013, a mandate for legally binding commitments and actions for countries not covered by the Kyoto Protocol; clarity on sources and scale of funding when existing commitments expire at the end of next year, transparency on emissions and actions by all parties.

“How countries resolve these issues by Durban is fundamental for creating trust and ambitious global action,” said Essop.

For further information:

Tasneem Essop, Head of WWF Delegation and Head of Climate Strategy and Advocacy, tessop@wwf.org.za, +27839986290

Ms. Samantha SMITH, Leader, Global Climate & Energy Initiative, ssmith@wwf.no
+47 45 02 21 49

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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Draining, denuding and denying habitat for acacia plantations in Riau. Decomposing peat soils then become major contributors to global climate change
© WWF-Indonesia Enlarge

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