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Thirteenth Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC (and pre-meeting informal consultations)
Lyon, France; 4 - 15 September 2000

Pre-SB13 Analysis

Climate Talks Continue in Lyon

 Negotiations to combat global climate change will begin again next week in Lyon, France as diplomats from more than 140 countries gather to work on refinements to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC.) This session of the negotiations, known as the 13th Meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies, will provide a final check on where governments stand before the World Conference on Climate Change, to be held in The Hague during November 2000.

 In 1997 in a meeting at Kyoto in Japan, developed countries agreed to reduce their overall emissions of greenhouses gases to around 5% below 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012.  Several outstanding issues remain with regards to the financial implications of meeting these targets and how countries, especially poorer ones, will manage the future effects of global climate change. Progress on issues, such as how emissions trading will work in practice must be must be made next week to help ensure success at negotiations in The Hague in November.

 The difference issues that need to be resolved reflect the key interest groups represented at these negotiations.  The "environmentalists�, who�s general position is that the commitments made at Kyoto should be lived up to and not in anyway be unfair or unclear. The Developed countries� main concern is to maintain the cost-effectiveness and a balance between whether they can count their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases outside of their own countries towards meeting their domestic targets.  The economies in transition   concern is that in addition to being able to fulfill their commitments to Kyoto cost effectively, they are keen to be attractive hosts to projects that will help reduce greenhouse gases. The Developing countries have a keen interest in optimizing the benefits they can achieve in gaining financial support from activities that reduce greenhouse gases, and at the same time maintaining control over how financial project support is implemented. The developing countries will emphasize the environmental integrity of the Protocol.

Achieving balance in the negotiations will be a formidable task for the negotiators in Lyon, where the different positions must be reconciled in order for the negotiations to take necessary steps forward. These differences are mainly centered on who will bear the brunt of the financial burden of reducing greenhouse gases and who will benefit from implementing activities that aim to reduce these gases.

 In addition to the negotiations to take place in Lyon, scientists and representatives of both industry and environmental groups will gather to present publications, activities and events, such as public education efforts for raising awareness about climate change or recent technology developments. These side events and exhibits provide an important balance to overall negotiations.

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