A renewal of the Kyoto Protocol obligation is expected to be adopted by the governments of countries participating in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and the 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol). The Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment of Cyprus, Mr Sofoclis Αletraris, who chairs the Environment Council, will represent the EU, and will be accompanied by the General Director of the ministry, Mrs Egly Pantelaki. The Commissioner of Climate Action of the EU, Ms Connie Hedegaard, will also represent the Union.
The Ministerial segment begins on 4th December and ends with a decision-making Plenary on 7th December.
Cyprus, currently holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission, are sharing responsibility for leading the negotiations on behalf of the EU. The Cyprus Presidency will additionally ensure the coordination of the EU positions, so that the EU speaks with 'one voice' at the Conference.
In Doha, governments are expected, inter alia, to agree on a renewed commitment under the Kyoto Protocol; decide how to stick to the task and timetable already set to reach an effective, fair and ambitious universal climate agreement by 2015 and to enter into force from 2020; raise the current inadequate global ambition to address climate change and its impacts before 2020; and reach a better understanding on how to mobilize long-term finance to support action in developing nations, which they have agreed must reach a level of USD 100 billion a year by 2020.
The major aims of the EU at the Conference are, for the international community to take a step forward in climate action by:
-laying firm foundations for a new global agreement to be adopted by 2015; identifying measures to narrow the gap between emission pledges for 2020 and what is needed to keep the 2°C warming limit within reach;
-finalising the rules and adopting the second period of the Kyoto Protocol; taking next steps on climate finance for developing countries; and moving ahead with implementing processes and operationalising institutions which have already been agreed.
Over 160 countries participate at the Conference. More than 100 Ministers are scheduled to attend the high-level segment, to be also addressed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
More information and details in the web pages of the Cypriot Presidency: http://www.cy2012.eu/index.php/el/political-calendar/areas/environment/event-831; the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/events/0062/index_en.htm; and the Secretariat of the Convention: www.unfccc.int.