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Brussels/Stockholm, 25 September 2009

Climate change: Bangkok meeting must make decisive progress towards ambitious global deal

The Swedish Presidency of the EU and the European Commission today called on international negotiators to make decisive progress towards an ambitious global climate change agreement at two weeks of world climate talks in Bangkok starting on 28 September. The Bangkok meeting is the penultimate preparatory session before the Copenhagen U.N. climate conference in December at which the global deal is due to be concluded.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "The European Union has set out a comprehensive agenda for the ambitious global agreement that is needed to prevent dangerous climate change. Now, after two years of discussions, it is time for all Parties to engage fully in preparing the ground for the decisions that must be taken in Copenhagen. Decisive progress is needed in Bangkok. The European Commission recently tabled proposals on finance which is a central issue in these negotiations. I am now looking to our partners in both the developed and the developing world to bring much greater urgency and ambition to the table."

Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said: "The EU welcomes progress, for example the new Japanese government's substantial increase in its emission reduction target. Recent encouraging public statements from the big emerging economies about limiting their emissions growth need to be turned into concrete actions and put on the negotiating table as well. The message from the UN and G20 summits must have an impact and be reflected in Bangkok. As political leaders we want to reach an agreement and negotiators need to focus on substance as well as essential elements."

Copenhagen process

Negotiations to draw up a United Nations agreement on tackling climate change for the period after 2012, when key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expire, are due to conclude at the Copenhagen conference on 7-18 December 2009. The final preparatory sessions will be held in Bangkok 28 September-9 October and in Barcelona 2-6 November.

EU position

The EU is pressing for an ambitious and comprehensive deal that will prevent global warming from reaching the dangerous levels – more than 2°C above the pre-industrial temperature - projected by the scientific community. Scientific evidence shows that keeping within this ceiling will require industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and developing countries to limit their rapid emissions growth to around 15-30% below business as usual levels in 2020.

The EU has committed unconditionally to cut its emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and is implementing this goal through the climate and energy package ( IP/09/628 ). It has also committed to scale up its emission cut to 30% provided other industrialised countries agree to make comparable reductions and economically more advanced developing countries contribute adequately to a global deal.

On 10 September the Commission proposed a global blueprint for increasing international finance to help developing countries mitigate their emissions and adapt to climate change ( IP/09/1297 ). This gives a basis for the European Council to take an EU position on financing at the end of October.

Bangkok meeting

Progress at the three official negotiating sessions held so far this year has been slow. The informal session in Bonn, Germany last month finished with a negotiating text on the table of more than 250 pages, poorly structured and full of brackets. In Bangkok this draft will need to be drastically streamlined and the pace of progress considerably accelerated if a global agreement is to be concluded in Copenhagen.

The negotiating process also needs to be made more efficient, for instance by negotiating in small parallel groups instead of large plenary sessions. The priority should be to agree on the essential elements for a Copenhagen deal and to advance on these.

For the EU the essential elements are:

  • Binding emission reductions by all industrialised countries based on comparable efforts;

  • Appropriate action by developing countries to limit emissions;

  • A framework for action on adaptation to climate change;

  • Action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management in tropical regions;

  • Updated accounting rules for changes in emissions due to land-use, land-use change and forestry;

  • An expanded international carbon market to generate financial support for developing countries and promote cost-effective emission cuts;

  • Provision of international public finance to developing countries to supplement financial flows from the carbon market and domestic investment;

  • A comprehensive package on technology cooperation and funding to accelerate development of a low-carbon global economy.

EU media briefings

Sweden, the Commission and Spain will give joint media briefings in Bangkok on

- Monday 28 September at 12.00 local

- Friday 9 October at 14.00 local

The briefings can be viewed at

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