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04 Apr 2011 12:04:43

Bangkok climate talks must advance Kyoto

Speaking at the first UN climate talks session of the year in Bangkok, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres asked to address shortfalls in climate action.

Climate change negotiators have gathered at Bangkok on Sunday looking to make further progress on the deals agreed at Cancun last December. Although the climate talks from 3 April to 8 April could be overshadowed by the nuclear crisis in Japan, they will look to debate the details of accords and make advances before further talks in Bonn this summer and the COP17 talks in Durban in November.

These climate talks and workshops have been preceded by preparatory regional group meetings from 30 March to 2 April.

Overall 26 agreements were attained at the Cancun Summit, including a Green Climate Fund, which promised $100bn a year in aid to poorer nations by 2020 and saw countries agree to keep global temperature rises below 2C.

Agreement at the Cancun Summit was also reached on measures to protect tropical forests, a transfer scheme for clean technologies, and measures to strengthen and extend the UN's carbon trading scheme, the Clean Development Mechanism.

However, negotiators at the Cancun Summit failed to make any progress on carbon emissions targets after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. Talks stalled after Japan, Canada and Russia declared that they would not sign up to an extension of Kyoto into 2013, while China, India, Brazil and other developing nations insisted that the Kyoto Protocol remains in place.

For this climate talks, Japan could declare itself unable to meet its Kyoto targets following last month's earthquake and tsunami. Also, discussions on how to deliver on the Cancun pledge to improve the transfer of clean technologies between countries are expected to take place in Bangkok this week.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, said last week that countries must begin to step up their efforts in Bangkok. But, this could be obscured by a row over which countries will be represented on the committee overseeing the Green Climate Fund, which has forced the UN to postpone the first meeting.

However, Figueres was confident that the Bangkok climate talks would see the Green Climate Fund committee come together for the first time, and the formation of an Adaptation Committee to discuss proposals that would accelerate efforts to cope with climate change.

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