Climate Brief

The parties at the Bangkok Climate Change dialogue held between March 31 and April 4, 2008, arrived at a consensus on two major points for a work programme on long term climate policy -- the 'development of a work programme' for the Ad-hoc working group on long term cooperative action, and the adoption of additional new commitments to be undertaken after 2012 by the developed countries.

The conclusions indicate a shift towards a long-term perspective, and the development of a post-Kyoto Protocol framework. The parties agreed on the identification of five themes -- shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer. The difference over sequencing the themes reflected clear division between developed and developing countries. Uncertainty prevailed over the fate of evolving a meaningful framework for discussion. This paper discuss about the developments that took place at Bangkok and concerns of developing countries to be discussed at UNFCCC Bonn meeting.

The 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held at Bali in Indonesia from December 3 -15, 2007. The conference culminated in the adoption of Bali Road Map, which includes the Bali Action Plan. It covered a wide range of topics. The main focus in Bali was on long-term cooperation and the post-2012 period when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires.

Negotiators spent much of their time seeking to agree on a two-year process - or 'Bali roadmap' - to finalise a post-2012 regime by December 2009. The discussions focused on how to follow up on the 'Dialogue on long term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention'. However, four major building blocks have been established to combat against climate change such as Adaptation, Mitigation, Financing and Technology Transfer.

Developing countries have no immediate restrictions under the UNFCCC. This serves three purposes:
. Avoids restrictions on growth because pollution is strongly linked to industrial growth, and developing economies can potentially grow very fast.
. It means that they cannot sell emissions credits to industrialised nations to permit those nations to over-pollute.
. They get money and technologies from the developed countries in Annex II.

The paper focuses on the concerns of Bangladesh in the face of changing climate arena considering the above issues.

Fighting climate change addresses the ability of economies in developing countries to cut the emission of greenhouse gases in industrial production. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol response to global warming demand to apply this aim through voluntary emission reduction targets.

In case of India, its climate change policy is in initial stages. India being a non-Annexe I nation, its linkages between trade and global warming are not defined in the existed or proposed policy. Its policies concentrates on the low per capita greenhouse gas emissions. Besides industrial activities, factors like deforestation are also responsible for climate change.

Though all governments have opened eyes on the menaces of increasing carbon emission levels, rapid increase in the production of waste, destruction of natural habitats and many such problems that have cropped up with growth and development, they are yet to reach at a consensus on each country's share of responsibility in mitigating the issues. This "Climate Brief -1: Emissions and Concerns for India - Some Future Options", explicates the two different ways with which developed and developing countries look at the problem - the absolute and per capita methods of calculating carbon emission - so as to set national targets for emission reduction. As the per capita emission levels of developed countries like USA, Canada and Australia are high, they are mandated by the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions (based on figures in the year 1990) at higher percentages - more than 90% in all cases - which in turn became unacceptable to these countries.

Developing countries like India, while clamoring for per capita method of calculation of emission levels, has already taken up initiatives in Clean Development Mechanism or CDM on a large scale. Ensuring equity among its masses while implementing sustainable development programmes, working out ways for financing of clean technology and foreseeing and avoiding various pitfalls in the transferring and implementation of clean technology are the challenges faced by the country in the current scenario.

India, the largest economy of South Asia, has recently announced its National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). This is of special significance given the mounting pressure on fast growing economies like India, China and Brazil from the developed countries for a commitment with legally binding obligations. Developed nations want these countries to be more efficient in energy use and forest management, if not in emission cut directly. Therefore, NAPCC is an important step forward towards building a unilateral roadmap to address the issue. It is also an opportunity to make concerted efforts and mainstream climate change concerns in the development process. The paper focuses on a host of issues relating to NAPCC, G8 Declaration on Climate Change, discussions held in Bonn this year on the Working Group on Further Commitments on Kyoto Protocol and on Long-Term Cooperative Action and way forward for Accra Climate Change meet.