Press Releases

    ENV/DEV/594
    24 July 2001

     

    GOVERNMENTS ADOPT BONN AGREEMENT ON
    KYOTO PROTOCOL RULES

    (Reissued as received.)

    BONN, 23 July (UNFCCC) -- The 180 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, now meeting in Bonn, have reached a broad political agreement on the operational rulebook for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The meeting will now continue through Friday, 27 July, and start the process of translating this agreement into more detailed legal decisions.

    "Today’s agreement will keep up the pressure for early emissions reductions by governments and the private sector in the developed world", said Michael Zammit Cutajar, Executive Secretary of the Convention. "It should also strengthen financial and technological support to developing countries to enable them to take action on climate change. The next step is for developed country governments to ratify the Protocol so that it can enter into force as quickly as possible -- preferably by 2002."

    Under the agreement, a special climate change fund and a fund for least developed countries will be established under the 1992 Convention to help developing countries adapt to climate change impacts, obtain clean technologies, and limit the growth in their emissions. In addition, a Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund will be established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes.

    One of the most difficult issues to resolve was how much credit developed countries could receive towards their Kyoto targets through the use of sinks (which absorb carbon from the atmosphere). The meeting agreed that the eligible activities will include revegetation and the management of forests, croplands and grazing lands. Individual country quotas were set; the result is that sinks will account for only a fraction of the emissions reductions that can be counted towards the Kyoto targets.

    The meeting also adopted the rules governing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) through which developed countries can invest in climate-friendly projects in developing countries and receive credit for the emissions avoided by these projects. The rules specify that energy efficiency, renewable energy, and forest sink projects can qualify for the CDM, while developed parties are to refrain from using nuclear facilities in the CDM. An executive board has been set up to oversee the Mechanism.

    Other rules address the international emissions trading regime, which enables developed countries to buy and sell emissions credits among themselves, and the joint implementation regime, under which the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries can invest in projects in countries with economies in transition.

    The Bonn agreement emphasizes that all three of the above mechanisms should be supplemental to domestic action and that domestic action shall thus constitute a significant element of the effort made by each party.

    The Protocol also includes a compliance mechanism. Compliance with the Protocol will be overseen by a Compliance Committee with a facilitative branch and an enforcement branch. For every ton of gas that a country emits over its target, it will be required to reduce an additional 1.3 tons during the Protocol’s second commitment period, which starts in 2013. Additional compliance procedures and mechanisms will be developed after the Protocol enters into force.

    The sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention was suspended last November in The Hague. It resumed here on 16 July, with the four-day high-level segment opening on 19 July.

    The Protocol will enter into force and become legally binding after it has been ratified by at least 55 parties to the Convention, including industrialized countries representing at least 55 per cent of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from this group. So far, 36 countries have ratified, including one industrialized country (Romania).

    The Bonn Conference has been attended by some 4,500 participants from 180 countries, including 88 ministers.

    Note to journalists: The agreed text is being posted at www.unfccc.int. For more information, please contact Michael Williams at +49-160-367-5933. For interviews with Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar, contact Carine Richard-Van Maele at +49-160-367-5892.

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