Friday, December 21, 2007

Comment: The Bali Climate Change summit

Keith Ewing, head of the British religious NGO Tearfund, found some grounds for optimism coming out of the recent global climate change meeting in Bali: ...And amidst all the wrangling and high politics, there was some delight in the Bali detail. For example:

• My organisation, Tearfund, was very pleased with progress made on adaptation (addressing the effects of climate change on poor countries). Agreements on adaptation were hard won, with some countries stalling and weakening language around commitments. However despite disruptive efforts of some countries, a highly positive outcome resulted. Not only was adaptation included as a key building block for the post-2012 framework, with many references to addressing the needs of poor countries, but a desperately needed ‘Adaptation Fund’ was finalised. This will see money flowing to poor countries.

• Another positive move was in the area of a boost to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies from developed to developing countries, for both mitigation and adaptation needs. With only a few days before the end of the summit, negotiations on technology transfer were in disarray -- causing huge concern for developing countries. However, at the eleventh hour an agreement was finally reached: governments recognised the need to urgently deliver technology to developing countries, and agreed to create a new ‘programme’ to scale up the level of investment in technology transfer.

There were positive moves, too, in the area of tackling deforestation. Moves which, when totalled up, prompted a composed end-of-summit Yvo de Boer to describe the final outcome in Bali as “a real opportunity for the international community to successfully fight climate change...parties have recognised the urgency of action”.

And who could begrudge him such a moment of optimism?

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