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UNFCCC Climate Change Negotiations

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham and Deptford (Joan Ruddock), and I attended the 14th conference of the parties (COP14) to the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) and the fourth meeting of the parties to the Kyoto protocol (CMP4) in Poznan, Poland last week.

The conference reached agreement to accelerate the pace of negotiations next year in order to conclude a new global climate change agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Other key outcomes from the conference included:

A decision to make operational the adaptation fund, which will help developing countries to integrate climate resilience into their development strategies. The UK is providing further financial support to help the fund with its planning and procedures so that it can begin to receive project proposals in 2009.

Agreement among key developing and developed forestry countries, brokered by the UK, to a framework for countering deforestation, with the UK announcing a contribution of up to £100 million from the environmental transformation fund for capacity-building to help people in forest countries.

In relation to carbon markets some progress was made on discussions, including carbon capture and storage and forestry within the Kyoto protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), with parties agreeing that the CDM executive board should assess the implications of the possible inclusion of CCS and forestry in the CDM.

Useful discussions were also held under the article 9 review of the Kyoto protocol. Parties considered proposals to extend the current CDM 2 per cent. levy, which is used to provide adaptation funding, to the joint implementation and international emissions trading mechanisms. Although no decisions were made, the discussion provided a useful opportunity to discuss aspects of the future financial architecture which will be critical to a Copenhagen deal.

The Poznan conference represents an important staging post on the way to Copenhagen. The UK and EU played a leading role in the conference, further strengthened by the European Council’s agreement to the 2020 climate and energy package. The Government will be working actively over the next 12 months to secure an ambitious global agreement in Copenhagen, consistent with the UK and EU objective of limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.