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Climate Change Meeting Sets Post-Kyoto Roadmap

Carbon Capture and Storage was a key technology under discussion in Montreal

Capped by a grueling 20-hour session, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal (earlier post) closed with the adoption of more than forty decisions designed to further global efforts to combat climate change.

Among them are a road map to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 and the launching of new, open-ended global talks on ways to fight climate change that will include Kyoto outsiders such as the United States and developing nations.

The US agreed to join the open-ended dialogue only after the agreement specified that it would not lead to formal negotiations or commitments or the type of emissions caps codified in Kyoto.

The new working group established to discuss future commitments for developed countries for the period after 2012 will begin work in May 2006. A series of workshops will support the dialog on long-term global cooperative action.

Delegates to the meeting strengthened the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) used by developed countries to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries. Developed countries committed themselves to fund the operation of the clean development mechanism with more than US$13 million in 2006-2007. The process for methodologies under the clean development mechanism (CDM) was also simplified and its governing body strengthened.

In addition to this, the delegates launched the second Kyoto mechanism—Joint Implementation—was launched, and established its governing body. Joint Implementation allows developed countries to invest in other developed countries, in particular central and eastern European transition economies, and thereby earn carbon allowances which they can use to meet their emission reduction commitments.

The meeting also established an agreement on the compliance regime for the Kyoto Protocol, electing a compliance committee with its enforcement and facilitative branches was elected. This decision is key to ensure that the Parties to the Protocol have a clear accountability regime in meeting their emission reductions targets.

The conference also adopted a five-year work program on adaptation to climate change impacts, paving the way for concrete steps to identify impacts and measures to adapt to climate change. To this end, the conference also agreed on a one-year process to define how the Adaptation Fund will be managed and operated. This fund will draw on proceeds generated by the CDM and will support concrete adaptation activities in developing countries.

The delegates also focused on technology solutions for emissions reduction—especially carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), with its estimated potential for reducing the cost of mitigation by up to 30%. Discussions of CCS were based largely on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. Parties agreed to move forward with deeper analysis of this technology.



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