Late-breaking news : Wednesday 11 Nov
Updates brought to you by the ENB team members throughout the day:
Parties at COP-4 are expected to adopt a resolution on solidarity with Central America in the wake of the "considerable loss of life and devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama." The resolution will note the high vulnerability of Central American countries to climate phenomena and expresses concern that global warming may be contributing to the worsening of weather conditions. The resolution will also invite the international community to lend immediate assistance to the people of Central America.
Kazakstan will announce its intention to join Annex I and Annex B and assume a binding target to abate emissions to below business as usual projections during the 2008-2012 compliance period. The US says the decision demonstrates a growing desire by non Annex I Parties to have access to the opportunities offered by Kyoto's flexibility mechanisms. The US has already negotiated observer status for Kazakstan in the Umbrella Group.
The European Commissioner for Environment, H.E. Ms.Ritt Bjerregaard, demonstrated her commitment to COP-4 by simply arriving in Buenos Aires. She is on her first overseas mission since a domestic accident which has severely limited her mobility.
Argentina confident the right road leads to voluntary commitments
President Carlos Menem has announced that Argentina will take on a voluntary commitment for the budget period 2008-2012 at COP-5 and seek a "new way within the Convention" for countries like Argentina to participate in all the mechanisms of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. President Menem signaled that he expects Argentina to travel along the road of voluntary commitments with a few other developing countries initially. However he assured the COP-4 Plenary that those who know where they are going and find a straight road do not travel alone for long.
|Carlos Saul Menem, President of the Republic of Argentina, enters the conference center|
|Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General, Department for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, and Representative of the Secreatry-General addresses the Conference of the Parties prior to President Menem's speech||President Menem smiles for the cameras|
|Menem addresses the Conference of the Parties||COP President Maria Julia Algosary, President Menem and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar|
|Left and right: President Menem accepts messages from students, urging him to help prevent further environmental destruction|
After the Presidential Ceremony, intergovernmental organizations addressed the Plenary
|James G. Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme|
|Robert Watson, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change||Mohammed T. El-Ashry, CEO and Chairman, Global Environment Facility|
In the afternoon, non-governmental organizations addressed the Plenary
|Tom Spencer, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment||Luis Anderson, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions|
|José Luis González, Klima-Bündnis (Climate Alliance)||Clement B. Malin, International Chamber of Commerce|
|Brother Ignacio Harding, Franciscans International||Audience listening to NGO statements|
COP President Press Briefing
COP4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray fielded questions from the media.
European Union Press Briefing
European Union representative Peter Jorgensen indicated that the pace of progress was about to speed up.
US Delegation Press Briefing
The US, represented by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs) and Todd Stern (Assistant to the President for Special Projects) briefed the media on recent events and fielded questions.
Stuart E. Eizenstat commends President Menem and Argentina regarding the pledge on voluntary commitments, then discusses Kazakstan's new initiative. The panel also refutes rumors about Vice President Al Gore's possible appearance at the conference
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