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Editor’s Note No. 115
Friday, 17 October 2008
Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Linkages Update

and MEA Bulletin
The final countdown to the Poznan Climate Change Conference is on.

Poland has just hosted an informal meeting of environmental ministers in Warsaw, as did Indonesia in Bogor, Indonesia, in October 2007, a month before the December 2007 Bali Climate Change Conference. In September, Argentina hosted the “El Calafate Southern Lights Dialogue,” an informal meeting of ministers and high-level government officials. This was the fourth meeting in a series that held its last meeting in June 2007, in Sweden for the “Midnight Sun Dialogue on Climate Change,” in the lead-up to Bali.

Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Yvo de Boer, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, and other leaders have, in statements to a variety of audiences, set out their expectations for Poznan and its role as the half-way point in the Bali Road Map. With the final objective of reaching an agreement in December 2009 at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference on an agreement for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol emission reduction provisions are scheduled to expire, it is hoped that a single negotiating text will come out of Poznan and serve as the basis for continued negotiations in 2009.

Participants in the negotiations have staked out their climate change positions in various meetings and declarations throughout the year, including the recent communiqué of the Intergovernmental Group of 24, at their meeting prior to the annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. These Ministers recognized that climate change “is a global challenge that requires the widest possible cooperation amongst all countries to reach an effective and appropriate international response, based on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” and they urged the World Bank Group to give special attention to issues they hold a special interest in, including adaptation to climate variability, mobilizing incremental resources and financing stand-alone adaptation projects.

The UN Development Programme’s recent release of briefing papers on the key issues under the four “building blocks” in the Bali Action Plan – mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance – as well as land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), seeks to contribute to negotiators’ capacity to participate in the UNFCCC process. The US National Research Council’s new study, Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making,highlights that, when done well, a participatory process “improves the quality and legitimacy of a decision and builds the capacity of all involved to engage in the policy process.” While this study focuses on public participation in domestic policy making situations, it could hold lessons for the international process as well. Along with the climate change negotiators, our team is preparing for Poznan, where we will bring you our daily reports on the talks to help you participate in the climate change process.
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