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Barcelona Climate Talks Yield One Result: More Time for White House

By Keith Schneider
U.S. Climate Action Network
BARCELONA, Nov. 5 –It’s been 30 years since scientists gained a clear understanding of the dangerous consequences of continuously adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This week during the five days of negotiations in Barcelona the world learned again that the formula for solving global warming is a diplomatic chemistry problem that still defies a solution. Read More

 

 

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Two years ago in Bali, it was decided that an international climate change treaty would be crafted in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since that moment, a tremendous amount of work and effort has been focused on this pivotal event. Millions of people around the globe have recognized the Copenhagen meeting as the moment when the world will come together to begin solving the international crisis of climate change. Negotiations will be intense, media attention will be heightened, political strategies will play out. World leaders, among them the Secretary General of the United Nations, say the consequences of ratifying a new global agreement could be a new era of prosperity, security, and global cooperation.

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Logistics

Copenhagen 101

 

What is the UNFCCC?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that the U.S. ratified in 1992. The convention established a long-term objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations below harmful levels and sets a voluntary goal for developed countries of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2000, but contained no mandatory limits. Recognizing that stronger action was needed, participating countries negotiated the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997.

 

Why is the Copenhagen meeting called a COP?

Each year, a Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC is convened, where environment ministers (equivalent to U.S. cabinet members) from around the world meet to discuss developments in the convention and coordinate international actions to combat global warming. This year’s meeting will be the 15th meeting of the Parties to the UNFCCC and it will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark from December 7th through 18th.

The meetings will be organized by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, hosted by the Government of Denmark and coordinated by the Danish Ministry of the Environment. It is expected that the two-week sessions will be attended by 15-20,000 participants: more than 190 government delegations headed by the Ministers for the Environment or Climate Change, international institutions, environmental, business and research non-governmental organizations, and media.

 

What is the goal of the COP?

Representatives from around the world will meet to negotiate a global agreement to limit greenhouse gases. The Copenhagen climate talks mark the endpoint of a two-year process which began in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007. Countries have agreed that in Copenhagen, an ambitious climate change deal will be reached to address the effects of climate change. The agreement will be based upon the Bali Action Plan which describes the foundation of the agreement as finance, technology transfer, adaptation, mitigation, shared vision and reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). The final agreement should be fair, ambitious and binding.

 

How are the negotiations structured?

There are two different negotiating tracks working to draft a new agreement at the COP: a Kyoto track for countries that ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and a Convention track for those countries who are not a party to Kyoto (the U.S. is in this track).

t_bangkokneg.jpgKyoto Track [Ad-hoc Working Group on further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)]: At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2005, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol initiated a process to consider further commitments by Annex I Parties for the period beyond 2012. The resulting decision established an open-ended ad-hoc working group of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to conduct that process and report to each session of the Conference and Meeting of Parties on the status of this process.
Convention Track [Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)]: The United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2007 culminated in the adoption of the Bali Road Map, which consists of a number of forward-looking decisions that represent the various tracks that are essential to strengthening international action on climate change. Central to the Bali Road Map is the establishment of a two-year process to enable full and effective implementation of the Convention. This is taking place in a new negotiating group called the AWG-LCA, which has been charged to reach an agreed outcome by 2009 in Copenhagen.

 

How does the actual work of the Conference get accomplished?

Much of the actual negotiations do not take place in large groups. As the need arises, smaller working groups splinter off in to what we in the U.S. would call committees, but are called Subsidiary Bodies under the UN process.

SBSTA and SBI: The Convention established two permanent subsidiary bodies: the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). These bodies give advice to the COP and each has a specific mandate. As its name suggests, the SBSTA’s task is to provide the COP with advice on scientific, technological and methodological matters. The SBI gives advice to the COP on all matters concerning the implementation of the Convention.

 

Who are the key UN figures in the UNFCCC negotiations?

 

Who are the key US figures in the UNFCCC negotiations?


What are the main negotiating bodies in the UNFCCC?

Each Party to the Convention is represented at sessions by a national delegation, consisting of one or more officials empowered to represent and negotiate on behalf of their government. In addition to individual parties, groups of parties negotiate together to increase their negotiating strength. Below is a list of traditional negotiating bodies:

l_g77.jpgGroup of 77 and China: Developing countries generally work through the Group of 77 to establish common negotiating positions. The G-77 was founded in 1964 in the context of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and now functions throughout the UN system. It has over 130 members. The country holding the Chair of the G-77 in New York (which rotates every year) often speaks for the G-77 and China as a whole. However, because the G-77 and China is a diverse group with differing interests on climate change issues, individual developing countries also intervene in debates as do groups within the G-77, such as the African UN Regional Group, the Alliance of Small Island States and the group of Least Developed Countriesl_aosis.jpg.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is a coalition of some 43 low-lying and small island countries, most of which are members of the G-77, that are particularly vulnerable to sea- level rise. AOSIS countries are united by the threat that climate change poses to their survival and frequently adopt a common stance in negotiations. They were the first to propose a draft text during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations calling for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 20% from 1990 levels by 2005 and are now calling for a reduction of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Least Developed Countries (LDC): The 49 countries defined as LDCs by the UN regularly work together in the wider UN system. They have become increasingly active in the climate change process, often working together to defend their particular interests, for example with regard to vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

l_eu.jpgEuropean Union (EU): The 27 members of the EU meet in private to agree on common negotiating positions. The country that holds the EU Presidency - a position that rotates every six months - then speaks for the European Community and its 27 member states. As a regional economic integration organization, the European Community itself can be, and is, a Party to the Convention. However, it does not have a separate vote from its members.

 

The Umbrella Group is a loose coalition of non-EU developed countries which formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there is no formal list, the Group usually consists of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the U.S.

The Environmental Integrity Group (EIG) is a recently formed coalition comprising of Mexico, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

 

What are the Key Terms and Concepts one should know before the Copenhagen Meeting?

UNFCCC negotiations are a jargon-rich process. Many have compared learning all the terminology of the UNFCCC to learning a new language. But like learning a new language, you can become proficient by understanding a few key terms and concepts while picking up a broader understanding as time goes on. Below is a list of key UNFCCC terms and concepts.

Bali Action Plan (BAP): The Bali Action Plan, adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) as decision 1/CP.13, launched a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session in Copenhagen in December 2009. The Bali Action Plan is centered on four main building blocks – mitigation, adaptation, technology, financing and shared vision.

Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR): The principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ evolved from the notion of the ‘common heritage of mankind’ and is a manifestation of general principles of equity in international law. The principle recognizes historical differences in the contributions of developed and developing states to global environmental problems, in this case historical GHG emissions, and differences in their respective economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems.

Developed vs. Developing (and Annex I vs. Annex II): The groupings within the UNFCCC were created in 1992 when the convention was signed and ratified by its members (U.S. included). The convention listed three different groups:

Annex I Countries (AI) (industrialized countries): Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America.

Annex II Countries (AII) (countries that agreed to help finance climate efforts in developing countries): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America

Developing Countries (countries that will receive support in decarbonizing their economies)
Recently, there has been much debate about the groupings of the UNFCCC Convention. Some argue (the U.S. included) that the traditional AI and AII groupings are outdated and countries with emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India should be responsible for climate change support. Others argue that Annex I or developed countries have a historical responsibility that was agreed upon in the mandate of the UNFCCC Convention to provide support to countries affected by climate change. This debate will play a central role in the Copenhagen agreement.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme, the IPCC surveys world-wide scientific and technical literature and publishes assessment reports that are widely recognized as the most credible existing sources of information on climate change. The IPCC also works on methodologies and responds to specific requests from the Convention's subsidiary bodies. The IPCC is independent of the Convention.

MRV - Measureable, Reportable, and Verifiable: The concept of "MRV" lays out a structure for tracking the mitigation actions of developing countries and the financial contributions of developed countries.

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs): Actions taken by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner.

National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs)
Documents prepared by least developed countries (LDCs) identifying urgent and immediate needs for adapting to climate change. The NAPAs are then presented to the international donor community for support.

Sectoral Approach: There are several different types of “sectoral approaches” but the common goal of sectoral approaches is to reduce emissions while avoiding competitiveness concerns across countries by applying the same rules for a particular sector, for example the power generation industry, to all countries.

Shared Vision: The focus of paragraph 1 (a) of the Bali Action Plan is for a “shared vision” for “long-term cooperative action” to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention which is to mitigate global warming. A controversial topic in this discussion is whether or not the “shared vision” should include a global short-term emissions target.

A Typical Day

For NGOs | For Congressional Delegations

 

For NGOs

 

A Typical Day in Copenhagen

COP15 logo photo

Copenhagen, the location of the United Nation’s 15th Conference of Parties (COP), has come to stand for more than just a city in which a major international meeting is to take place. The name has become the focal point for all things climate and energy related this year and the anticipation around the upcoming UN meeting continues to grow. By now, most organizations know what’s at stake in Copenhagen, but few feel confident about how they can effectively engage in the negotiations once on the ground. The goal of this document is to help answer those questions and more; while shedding light on the existing NGO structures within the UNFCCC process that can help first-time organizations get up to speed and be effective in Copenhagen.

 

Climate Action Network (CAN) Structure:

  • Climate Action Network Capacity Building and Strategy Session: On Sunday, December 6th, CAN International will hold a capacity building session for new attendees and individuals looking to gain more knowledge around the negotiating process. A strategy session will follow the morning capacity building that will further outline what to expect in the coming week and how CAN members can best impact the negotiations. On Sunday, December 13th, a similar program will be repeated including summaries of the past week as well as previews of the coming week.
  • USCAN Member Coordination: USCAN will also hold a capacity building and strategy session before negotiations begin. Daily meetings will be held to help with coordination throughout the two weeks of negotiations.
  • Climate Action Network Daily Meetings: Each day, a CAN Daily Meeting will be held from 2pm-3pm. This meeting is strongly recommended for those members attending the negotiations who are seeking a daily debrief on all of the happenings within the negotiations.
  • Climate Action Network Working Groups: CAN has established working groups to focus on specific pieces of the negotiation process such as Adaptation or Mitigation. These groups track the developments within their content area, produce documents to help further their goals and meet with official parties to discuss concerns revolving around their focus.

 

Daily Schedule at COP 15

A typical day in Copenhagen will start early and end late. There will be a great deal happing at all times and it will be impossible to observe every negotiating session or to take part in every side event. We as USCAN find it helpful to breakdown the typical day into five main blocks: Early Morning-10am, 10am-1pm, 1pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm, 6pm-Evening. Each block of the day has a typical structure that will help members develop a more complete picture of each day and help your organization strategically prepare for its time in Copenhagen.

 

  • Picking up Daily Programme
    Picking up the Daily Programme
    Block #1: Early Morning-10am:
    Each day in Copenhagen should begin with a reading of the Daily Programme. The program can be picked up at the official UN Document Centre or found on the UNFCCC website. The program lays out in great detail, all the activities that are happening each day around the negotiations. Learning how to effectively read the daily program is the single most important way you can come to better understand all that is taking place in the negotiations. USCAN will provide a more detailed fact sheet on how best to dissect the daily program as Copenhagen nears. Block #1 is typically filled with coordination-style meetings. Many organizations hold early morning meetings to discuss the day’s details, and some CAN working groups choose to meet during this time. Block #1 is also a time in which some delegates choose to meet with NGOs.
  • Block #2: 10am-1pm: In a typical day, official negotiating sessions run from 10am to 1pm. Depending on the day, the negotiations may be held in large working sessions regarding a broad section of the negotiations or in a series of smaller, more specific, negotiating sessions. Check the daily program to determine when and where specific negotiating sessions are held.
  • Block #3: 1pm-3pm: Block #3 is one of the busiest times of the day. Many of the CAN working groups meet from pm1-2pm each day. In addition to CAN-related meetings, Side Events (meetings held at the COP by NGOs, businesses, and other official observers, and sometimes by the parties) are held to provide additional information relating to climate change for conference participants. A list of the day’s side events is posted near the back of the daily program. Block #3 can also be a key time to schedule meetings with government delegations or members of the Congressional Delegation. Finally, and don’t forget, Block #3 is the best time during the day to grab a bite to eat for lunch!
  • Watching monitors
    Watching the monitors.
    Block #4: 3pm-6pm:
    Official negotiations resume during Block #4. In addition to the daily program, another useful place to find information regarding the day’s activities is on the UNFCCC monitors that display a scrolling schedule that lists items such as room and time changes.
  • Block #5: 6pm-Evening: After the day’s negotiations end, there are still many ways to remain involved. Additional rounds of side events take place from 6pm-9pm. Many individuals find Block #5 an effective time to meet with members of their negotiating team or to have internal meetings to help recap the day and prepare for the coming day. Social events such as receptions and dinners will also take place during this block throughout the COP.

 

Additional Ways in Which CAN Members Can Engage in the Copenhagen Negotiations:

  • Coordination with the U.S. Negotiating Team:

The U.S. negotiating team will likely host briefings for U.S. NGOs on a regular basis. In the past, Jonathan Pershing, U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, has given an introductory briefing followed by a question and answer period.

  • Press Briefings:

Copenhagen is a great press opportunity and large amounts of print, radio and television media are expected to attend the meeting. Your organization can meet with the media in informal discussions or through official press conferences, held in press rooms that can be arranged through the Secretariat. In general, press briefings can be either open or closed to the general conference participants and are listed in the daily program.

  • ECO:
Reading Eco

ECO is the daily NGO newsletter that comments on the daily happenings of the negotiations and is produced at the COP by CAN members. Each day, there is an opportunity to draft articles, edit text and help with morning distribution. Volunteering for ECO is a rite of passage and members should lend a hand with this fun and educational experience. Past ECO additions can be found here: http://www.climatenetwork.org/eco/

  • Fossil of the Day Award: The Fossil-of-the-Day Award is given to countries that block progress at the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations. Each day, a winner is determined at the CAN daily meeting through a process of nomination and voting. The top three winners are then presented their award at 6pm and press releases are sent out. The Fossil-of-the-Day Award has proven to be an effective media tool for highlighting the obstructionist tactics used by many countries. http://www.fossil-of-the-day.org/

 

For Congressional Delegations

A typical day in Copenhagen will start early and end late. There will be a great deal happing at all times and it will be impossible to observe every negotiating session or to take part in every side event. When thinking about making the most of each day in Copenhagen, it is helpful to breakdown each day into five main blocks: Early Morning-10am, 10am-1pm, 1pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm, 6pm-Evening. Each block of the day has a typical structure that will help you develop a more complete picture of the day and help you be productive, effective and constructive during your time in Copenhagen.

 

  • Read the daily programme
    Block #1: Early Morning-10am:
    Each day in Copenhagen should begin with a reading of the Daily Programme. The program can be picked up at the official UN Document Centre or found on the UNFCCC website. The program lays out in great detail, all the activities that are happening each day around the negotiations. Learning how to effectively read the daily program is the single most important way you can come to better understand all that is taking place in the negotiations. USCAN will provide a more detailed fact sheet on how best to dissect the daily program as Copenhagen nears. Block #1 is typically filled with coordination-style meetings. Many governments and organizations hold early morning meetings to discuss the day’s details.
  • Block #2: 10am-1pm: In a typical day, official negotiating sessions run from 10am to 1pm. Depending on the day, the negotiations may be held in large working sessions regarding a broad section of the negotiations or in a series of smaller, more specific, negotiating sessions. Check the daily program to determine when and where specific negotiating sessions are held.
  • Block #3: 1pm-3pm: Block #3 is one of the busiest times of the day. This block can be a key time to schedule meetings with other government delegations and NGOs. In addition to meetings, Side Events (meetings held at the COP by NGOs, businesses, and other official observers, and sometimes by the parties) are held to provide additional information relating to climate change for conference participants. A list of the day’s side events is posted near the back of the daily program. Finally, Block #3 is the best time during the day to grab a bite to eat for lunch!
  • Block #4: 3pm-6pm: Official negotiations resume during Block #4. In addition to the daily program, another useful place to find information regarding the day’s activities is on the UNFCCC monitors that display a scrolling schedule that lists items such as room and time changes.
  • Social EventsBlock #5: 6pm-Evening: After the day’s negotiations end, there are still many ways to remain involved. Additional rounds of side events take place from 6pm-9pm. Many individuals find Block #5 an effective time to meet with members of their negotiating team or to have internal meetings to help recap the day and prepare for the coming day. Social events such as receptions and dinners will also take place during this block throughout the COP.

 

Additional Ways To Engage in the Copenhagen Negotiations:

  • Coordination with the U.S. Negotiating Team:

The U.S. negotiating team will likely have a daily meeting each morning. Members of Congress are generally invited to that meeting.

  • Bilateral Meetings:

Members of Congress can use their time meeting with high-level party members from other countries. These meetings can prove insightful for both attending groups. These meetings can be arranged through direct contact or through NGOs with government contacts.

  • Side events:

Congressional members or staff can participate in side events which are meetings held at the COP by NGOs, businesses, other official observers, parties. The purpose of a side event is designed to provide additional information to those attending the conference outside of the traditional negotiations. The Copenhagen side event deadline runs from September 1-4. Applications must be submitted through the UNFCCC website: http://regserver.unfccc.int/seors

  • Press Briefings:

Press ConferenceCopenhagen is a great press opportunity for members of Congress. Each day, members or staff can meet with the media in informal discussions or through official press conferences, held in press rooms that can be arranged through the Secretariat. Press briefings can be either open or closed to the general conference participants. Large amounts of print, radio and television media are expected to attend the Copenhagen meeting.

  • High-level Meetings with Leaders of the Business, Faith, Labor and Environmental Community, Etc.:

Large numbers of organizations will bring their high-level members including CEOs to Copenhagen and will look to engage in these types of meetings. It may prove to be a good opportunity to meet with individuals who are infrequently in Washington, D.C.

  • Briefings on the Latest Science:

Technical briefingCopenhagen will likely have a large number of the leading climate scientists in one location. Staff will have the opportunity to meet with leading scientist and engage in both formal and informal discussions.

  • Social Events:

Many social events are planned during COPs because of the unique blend of individuals in one location at one time. Members will likely have the opportunity to attend receptions and dinners each night of their stay.

  • Observing the Negotiations:

Members of Congress are considered part of the official U.S. delegation and have access to closed-door negotiating sessions.

  • Meet with United Nations Officials:

High-level UN officials including the Secretary General will attend this meeting and are generally open to meeting with members of the U.S. Congress.

Glossary

Glossary of Terms for the Climate Talks

This is a condensed list of terms defined by the UN Framework Convention.[1] Additional definitions have been added and sources noted.

Assigned amount unit (AAU)
A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric ton of CO2 equivalent. Each Annex I Party issues AAUs up to the level of its assigned amount, established pursuant to Article 3, paragraphs 7 and 8, of the Kyoto Protocol. Assigned amount units may be exchanged through emissions trading.

Adaptation

Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

Adaptation Fund
The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Fund is to be financed with a share of proceeds from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and receive funds from other sources.

Afforestation
Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained forests.

Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
An ad hoc coalition of low-lying and island countries. These nations are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and share common positions on climate change. The 43 members and observers are American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Grenada, Guam, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.

Annex I Parties
The industrialized countries listed in this annex to the Convention committed to return their greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 as per Article 4.2 (a) and (b). They have also accepted emissions targets for the period 2008-12 as per Article 3 and Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol. They include the 24 original OECD members, the European Union, and 14 countries with economies in transition. (Croatia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Slovenia joined Annex 1 at COP-3, and the Czech Republic and Slovakia replaced Czechoslovakia.)

Annex II Parties
The countries listed in Annex II to the Convention which have a special obligation to provide financial resources and facilitate technology transfer to developing countries. Annex II Parties include the 24 original OECD members plus the European Union.

Anthropogenic greenhouse emissions
Greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from human activities.

Article 4.2
Article of the Convention stating the specific commitments of developed-country (Annex I) Parties only -- notably that they would take measures aimed to return greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.

AWG-LCA

At its thirteenth session, the Conference of the Parties (COP), by its decision 1/CP.13 (the Bali Action Plan), launched a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session. The process shall be conducted under a subsidiary body of the Convention, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), that shall complete its work in 2009 and present the outcome of its work to the Conference of the Parties for adoption at its fifteenth session.

AWG-KP

To discuss future commitments for industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol, the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol established a working group in December 2005 called the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). The AWG-KP is set to complete its work by the end of 2009.

Bali Action Plan (BAP)

The Bali Action Plan, adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) as decision 1/CP.13, launched a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session in Copenhagen in December 2009. The Bali Action Plan is centered on four main building blocks – mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing.

Berlin Mandate
Adopted at COP-1, the mandate that launched negotiations leading to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.

Biomass fuels or biofuels

Fuels produced from dry organic matter or combustible oils produced by plants. These fuels are considered renewable as long as the vegetation producing them is maintained or replanted, such as firewood, alcohol fermented from sugar, and combustible oils extracted from soy beans. Greenhouse gas reductions from biofuel use are controversial; effectiveness as a gasoline-substitute depends on the type feedstock (plant). Evaluation of climate benefits should take into consideration lifecycle emissions such as land use changes and energy inputs in the production and refining processes.

Bracketed Text
Typographical symbols [ -- ] placed around text under negotiation to indicate that the language enclosed is being discussed but has not yet been agreed upon.

Bunker fuels
Term used to refer to fuels consumed for international marine and air transport.

Capacity building
In the context of climate change, the process of developing the technical skills and institutional capability in developing countries and economies in transition to enable them to address effectively the causes and results of climate change.

Carbon market
A popular but misleading term for a trading system through which countries may buy or sell units of greenhouse-gas emissions in an effort to meet their national limits on emissions, either under the Kyoto Protocol or under other agreements, such as that among member states of the European Union. The term comes from the fact that carbon dioxide is the predominant greenhouse gas and other gases are measured in units called "carbon-dioxide equivalents."

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Carbon capture and sequestration, or storage, is an approach to mitigating global warming based on capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants and storing it instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

Certified emission reductions (CER)
A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of CO2 equivalent. CERs are issued for emission reductions from CDM project activities. Two special types of CERs, called temporary certified emission reduction (tCERs) and long-term certified emission reductions (lCERs), are issued for emission removals from afforestation and reforestation CDM projects.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

CFCs, along with other chlorine- and bromine-containing compounds, have been implicated in the accelerated depletion of ozone in the Earth's stratosphere. CFCs were developed in the early 1930s and are used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and household applications. These substances are non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-reactive with other chemical compounds.

Chair’s Summary

A document issued by the Chair of the Ad Hoc Working groups which summarizes the main points of discussion. The Chair’s summary is not a decision by the group, and not subject to amendment by the parties, but aims to move the deliberations along by identifying emerging areas of consensus and issues needing further clarification, discussion and debate.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
A mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol through which developed countries may finance greenhouse-gas emission reduction or removal projects in developing countries, and receive credits for doing so which they may apply towards meeting mandatory limits on their own emissions.

Committee of the Whole
Often created by a COP to aid in negotiating text. It consists of the same membership as the COP. When the Committee has finished its work, it turns the text over to the COP, which finalizes and then adopts the text during a plenary session.

Comparability of Effort

This term refers to Section 1(b) (i) of the Bali Action Plan stating that the mitigation commitments of all developed countries must be similar or “comparable.” Sometimes called the “U.S. provision,” this section is designed to open negotiations on the terms of U.S. participation in the new agreement.

Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)

The principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ evolved from the notion of the ‘common heritage of mankind’ and is a manifestation of general principles of equity in international law. The principle recognizes historical differences in the contributions of developed and developing States to global environmental problems, in this case historical GhG emissions, and differences in their respective economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems.

Compliance Committee
A committee that helps facilitate, promote and enforce compliance with the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. It has 20 members with representation spread among various regions, small-island developing states, Annex I and non-Annex I parties, and functions through a plenary, a bureau, a facilitative branch and an enforcement branch.

Compliance
Fulfilment of commitments by countries/businesses/individuals of emission and reporting under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

Conference of the Parties (COP)
The supreme body of the Convention. It currently meets once a year to review the Convention's progress. The word "conference" is not used here in the sense of "meeting" but rather of "association," which explains the seemingly redundant expression "fourth session of the Conference of the Parties."

Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP)
The Convention’s supreme body is the COP, which serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The sessions of the COP and the CMP are held during the same period to reduce costs and improve coordination between the Convention and the Protocol.

Conference room papers (CRPs)
A category of in-session documents containing new proposals or outcomes of in-session work. CRPs are for use only during the session concerned.

Contact group
An open-ended meeting that may be established by the COP, a subsidiary body or a Committee of the Whole wherein Parties may negotiate before forwarding agreed text to a plenary for formal adoption. Closed to press but sometimes open to observers.

Countries with Economies in Transition (EIT)
Those Central and East European countries and former republics of the Soviet Union in transition from state-controlled to market economies.

Decision
A formal agreement that (unlike a resolution) leads to binding actions. It becomes part of the agreed body of decisions that direct the work of the COP.

Declaration
A non-binding political statement made by ministers attending a major meeting (e.g. the Geneva Ministerial Declaration of COP-2).

Deforestation
Conversion of forest to non-forest.

Degradation

Biological, chemical or physical processes which result in the loss of the productive potential of natural resources in areas covered by forests and/or used by agriculture. Degradation may be permanent, although some forest areas may recover naturally or with human assistance.

Designated National Authority (DNA)
An office, ministry, or other official entity appointed by a Party to the Kyoto Protocol to review and give national approval to projects proposed under the Clean Development Mechanism.

Documents
Documents fall into different categories. Official documents are available to everyone and feature the logos of the United Nations and the Climate Change Convention. They carry a reference number, such as FCCC/CP/1998/1. Pre-session documents are available before a meeting, often in all six UN languages. In-session documents are distributed on-site (see CRPs, L docs, Misc. docs, and non-papers). Informal documents are often distributed outside the meeting room by observers.

Drafting group
A smaller group established by the President or a Chair of a Convention body to meet separately and in private to prepare draft text -- text which must still be formally approved later in a plenary session. Observers generally may not attend drafting group meetings.

Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT)
An expert group established at COP7 with the objective of enhancing the implementation of Article 4.5 of the Convention, by analyzing and identifying ways to facilitate and advance technology transfer activities under the Convention

Emission reduction unit (ERU)
A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of CO2 equivalent. ERUs are generated for emission reductions or emission removals from joint implementation projects.

Emissions trading
One of the three Kyoto mechanisms, by which an Annex I Party may transfer Kyoto Protocol units to or acquire units from another Annex I Party. An Annex I Party must meet specific eligibility requirements to participate in emissions trading.

Entry into force
The point at which an intergovernmental agreement becomes legally binding -- occurring at a pre-stated interval after a pre-stated and required number of ratifications by countries has been achieved. The Climate Change Convention required 50 ratifications to enter into force. It now enters into force for each new Party 90 days after that Party ratifies the Convention.

Environmental Integrity Group
A coalition or negotiating alliance consisting of Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland.

Expert review teams
Groups of experts, nominated by Parties, who review national reports submitted by Annex I Parties to the UNFCCC, and the Kyoto Protocol.

Financial Mechanism
Developed country Parties (Annex II Parties) are required to provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties implement the Convention. To facilitate this, the Convention established a financial mechanism to provide funds to developing country Parties. The Parties to the Convention assigned operation of the financial mechanism to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on an on-going basis, subject to review every four years. The financial mechanism is accountable to the COP.

Fourth Assessment Report (FAR)

The Fourth Assessment Report refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), report which was issued in four parts in 2007 and suggested that the next round of emission reductions by developed counties should be guided in the range of 25 - 40% below 1990 levels.

Friends of the chair
Delegates called upon by the Chair (who takes into account the need for political balance among various interests) to assist in carrying out specific tasks.

Fugitive fuel emissions
Greenhouse-gas emissions as by-products or waste or loss in the process of fuel production, storage, or transport, such as methane given off during oil and gas drilling and refining, or leakage of natural gas from pipelines.

Group of 77 (G-77) and China
A large negotiating alliance of developing countries that focuses on numerous international topics, including climate change. The G-77 was founded in 1967 under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It seeks to harmonize the negotiating positions of its 131 member states.

GRULAC

Group of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF is an independent financial organization that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. The Parties to the Convention assigned operation of the financial mechanism to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on an on-going basis, subject to review every four years. The financial mechanism is accountable to the COP. For more information see: http://www.thegef.org/.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC)

HFCs are compounds containing only hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon atoms. They were introduced as alternatives to ozone depleting substances in serving many industrial, commercial, and personal needs. HFCs are emitted as by-products of industrial processes and are also used in manufacturing. HFCs do not significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases.

"Hot air"
Refers to the concern that some governments will be able to meet their targets for greenhouse-gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol with minimal effort and could then flood the market with emissions credits, reducing the incentive for other countries to cut their own domestic emissions.

International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO
The International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN Specialized Agency, is a global forum for civil aviation. ICAO works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) acts as energy policy advisor to 28 member countries in efforts to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for citizens. Founded during the oil crisis of 1973-74, the IEA’s initial role was to co-ordinate measures in times of oil supply emergencies. As energy markets changed, so has the IEA. Its mandate has broadened to incorporate the “Three E’s” of balanced energy policy making: energy security, economic development and environmental protection.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)
The International Maritime Organization is the UN system’s regulatory agency for the maritime sector and its global mandate is safer shipping and cleaner oceans. It pursues that mandate by adopting international maritime rules and standards that are then implemented and enforced by Governments in the exercise of flag, port and coastal State jurisdiction.

Implementation
Actions (legislation or regulations, judicial decrees, or other actions) that governments take to translate international accords into domestic law and policy.

Informal contact group or “Informals”
A group of delegates instructed by the President or a Chair to meet in private to discuss a specific matter in an effort to consolidate different views, reach a compromise, and produce an agreed proposal, often in the form of a written text.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme, the IPCC surveys world-wide scientific and technical literature and publishes assessment reports that are widely recognized as the most credible existing sources of information on climate change. The IPCC also works on methodologies and responds to specific requests from the Convention's subsidiary bodies. The IPCC is independent of the Convention.

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission ( IOC)

The IOC was created in 1960 to promote international cooperation and coordinate programs in research, sustainable development, protection of the marine environment, capacity-building for improved management, and decision-making. It assists developing countries in strengthening their institutions to obtain self-driven sustainability in marine sciences.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

A network of governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities that aims to help the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world.

Joint implementation (JI)
A mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol through which a developed country can receive "emissions reduction units" when it helps to finance projects that reduce net greenhouse-gas emissions in another developed country (in practice, the recipient state is likely to be a country with an "economy in transition"). An Annex I Party must meet specific eligibility requirements to participate in joint implementation.

Kyoto Protocol
An international agreement standing on its own, and requiring separate ratification by governments, but linked to the UNFCCC. The Kyoto Protocol, among other things, sets binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by industrialized countries.

Kyoto mechanisms
Three procedures established under the Kyoto Protocol to increase the flexibility and reduce the costs of making greenhouse-gas emissions cuts; they are the Clean Development Mechanism, Emissions Trading and Joint Implementation.

Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF)
A greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change and forestry activities.

Leakage
That portion of cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions by developed countries -- countries trying to meet mandatory limits under the Kyoto Protocol -- that may reappear in other countries not bound by such limits. For example, multinational corporations may shift factories from developed countries to developing countries to escape restrictions on emissions.

Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
The World’s poorest countries. The criteria currently used by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for designation as an LDC include low income, human resource weakness and economic vulnerability. Currently 50 countries have been designated by the UN General Assembly as LDCs.

Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG)
A panel of 12 experts which provides advice to LDCs on the preparation and implementation of national adaptation programs of action (NAPAs) -- plans for addressing the urgent and immediate needs of those countries to adapt to climate change.

Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF)
The LDCF is a fund established to support a work program to assist Least Developed Country Parties to carry out, inter alia, the preparation and implementation of national adaptation programs of action (NAPAs). The Global Environment Facility, as the entity that operates the financial mechanism of the Convention, has been entrusted to operate this fund.

Marrakesh Accords
Agreements reached at COP-7 which set various rules for "operating" the more complex provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. Among other things, the accords include details for establishing a greenhouse-gas emissions trading system; implementing and monitoring the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism; and setting up and operating three funds to support efforts to adapt to climate change.

Miscellaneous documents (misc. docs)
Documents issued on plain paper with no UN masthead. They generally contain views or comments published as received from a delegation without formal editing.

Mitigation
In the context of climate change, mitigation is a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Examples include using fossil fuels more efficiently for industrial processes or electricity generation, switching to solar energy or wind power, improving the insulation of buildings, and expanding forests and other "sinks" to remove greater amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and international agreement adopted in Montreal in 1987.

MRV - Measureable, Reportable, and Verifiable

Measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions, including quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives by all developed country Parties, while ensuring the comparability of efforts among them, taking into account differences in their national circumstances

National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs)
Documents prepared by least developed countries (LDCs) identifying urgent and immediate needs for adapting to climate change. The NAPAs are then presented to the international donor community for support.

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA)

Actions taken by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner.

National communications
A document submitted in accordance with the Convention (and the Protocol) by which a Party informs other Parties of activities undertaken to address climate change. Most developed countries have now submitted their fourth national communications; most developing countries have completed their first national communication and are in the process of preparing their second.

Non-Annex I Parties
Refers to countries that have ratified or acceded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that are not included in Annex I of the Convention.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Organizations that are not part of a governmental structure. They include environmental groups, research institutions, business groups, and associations of urban and local governments. Many NGOs attend climate talks as observers. To be accredited to attend meetings under the Convention, NGOs must be non-profit.

Non-paper
An in-session document issued informally to facilitate negotiations. A non-paper does not have an official document symbol. It may have an identifying number or carry the name of its author.

Non-Party
A state that has not ratified the Convention but attends meetings as an observer.

"No-regrets options"
Technology for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions whose other benefits (in terms of efficiency or reduced energy costs) are so extensive that the investment is worth it for those reasons alone. For example, combined-cycle gas turbines -- in which the heat from the burning fuel drives steam turbines while the thermal expansion of the exhaust gases drives gas turbines -- may boost the efficiency of electricity generating plants by 70 per cent.

Observers
Observers include agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Governments not Parties to the Convention which are permitted to attend, but not vote, at meetings of the COP and its subsidiary bodies. Observers may include the United Nations and its specialized agencies; other intergovernmental organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency; and accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is a forum where the governments of 30 market democracies work together to address the economic, social and governance challenges of globalization. The Organization provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and co-ordinate domestic and international policies.

Offsets

A greenhouse gas (GHG) offset is generated by the reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of GHG emissions from a specific project. Offsets are so named because they counteract or offset greenhouse gases that would have been emitted into the atmosphere; they are a compensating equivalent for reductions made at a specific source of emissions.

Party
A state (or regional economic integration organization such as the European Union) that agrees to be bound by a treaty and for which the treaty has entered into force.

Plenary
A formal meeting of the entire COP or one of its subsidiary bodies. Formal decisions or conclusions may only be taken during plenary sessions.

Policies and measures (PAMs)
A frequently used phrase -- sometimes abbreviated as PAMs -- referring to the steps taken or to be taken by countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Some possible policies and measures are listed in the Protocol and could offer opportunities for intergovernmental cooperation.

President
The official of a member government elected by the Parties to preside over the COP. The President is often a senior official or minister from the state or region hosting the meeting. The President may not participate in the negotiations as a representative of the member government during the term of presidency.

Protocol
An international agreement linked to an existing convention, but as a separate and additional agreement which must be signed and ratified by the Parties to the convention concerned. Protocols typically strengthen a convention by adding new, more detailed commitments.

Quantified Emissions Limitation and Reduction Commitments (QELROs)
Legally binding targets and timetables under the Kyoto Protocol for the limitation or reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by developed countries.

Ratification
Formal approval, often by a Parliament or other national legislature, of a convention, protocol, or treaty, enabling a country to become a Party. Ratification is a separate process that occurs after a country has signed an agreement. The instrument of ratification must be deposited with a "depositary" (in the case of the Climate Change Convention, the UN Secretary-General) to start the countdown to becoming a Party (in the case of the Convention, the countdown is 90 days).

Reforestation
Replanting of forests on lands that have previously contained forests but that have been converted to some other use.

Regional groups
Alliances of countries, in most cases sharing the same geographic region, which meet privately to discuss issues and nominate bureau members and other officials for activities under the Convention. The five regional groups are Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC), and the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG).

Registries, registry systems
Electronic databases that will track and record all transactions under the Kyoto Protocol's greenhouse-gas emissions trading system (the “carbon market”) and under mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism.

Resolution
Directives that guide the work of the COP -- opinions rather than permanent legal acts. Unlike decisions, resolutions do not generally become part of the formal body of legislation enacted by the COP.

Rio Conventions
Three environmental conventions, two of which were adopted at the 1992 "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), while the third, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), was adopted in 1994. The issues addressed by the three treaties are related -- in particular, climate change can have adverse effects on desertification and biodiversity -- and through a Joint Liaison Group, the secretariats of the three conventions take steps to coordinate activities to achieve common progress.

Removal unit (RMU)
A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. RMUs are generated in Annex I Parties by LULUCF activities that absorb carbon dioxide.

Sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs)

SD-PAMs is an approach that suggests that developing countries themselves identify more sustainable development paths and commit to implementing these with financial support. It starts by considering a country’s own long-term development objectives. Next, policies and measures are identified to make the development path more sustainable. Each country would define what it means by making development more sustainable, but when registering SD-PAMs, the international community would have to agree.

Secretariat
The office staffed by international civil servants responsible for "servicing" the UNFCCC Convention and ensuring its smooth operation. The secretariat makes arrangements for meetings, compiles and prepares reports, and coordinates with other relevant international bodies. The Climate Change Secretariat, which is based in Bonn, Germany, is institutionally linked to the United Nations.

Sectoral Approach

There are several different types of “sectoral approaches” but the common goal of sectoral approaches is to reduce emissions while avoiding competitiveness concerns across countries by applying the same rules for a particular sector, for example the power generation industry, to all countries. Terms related to the sectoral approach include:

  • Sector-based crediting (“no-lose target”) – Many have proposed GHG crediting on a sectoral basis: countries earn credits for reductions below an agreed sector-wide baseline.
  • Sectoral (“policy-based”) actions/commitments – Countries could agree internationally to individualized policies (i.e., SD-PAMs) in specific sectors. Actions/commitments could vary in form (e.g., efficiency standards, renewable energy targets, deforestation policies).
  • Sectoral agreements – Countries could enter into agreements on actions/commitments in specific sectors, with the form varying by sector (e.g., performance standards, absolute or intensity targets, technology/finance mechanisms) and commitments differentiated.[2]

Shared Vision*

The focus of paragraph 1 (a) of the Bali Action Plan is for a “shared vision” for “long-term cooperative action” to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention which is to mitigate global warming.

Sink
Any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Forests and other vegetation are considered sinks because they remove carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)
The SCCF was established to finance projects relating to adaptation; technology transfer and capacity building; energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management; and economic diversification. This fund should complement other funding mechanisms for the implementation of the Convention. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), as the entity that operates the financial mechanism of the Convention, has been entrusted to operate this fund.

"Spill-over effects"
Reverberations in developing countries caused by actions taken by developed countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, emissions reductions in developed countries could lower demand for oil and thus international oil prices, leading to more use of oil and greater emissions in developing nations, partially off-setting the original cuts. Current estimates are that full-scale implementation of the Kyoto Protocol may cause 5 to 20 per cent of emissions reductions in industrialized countries to "leak" into developing countries.

Submissions

Submissions refer to proposals or plans put forward by Parties to the UNFCCC process suggestions ways to deal with the various issues surrounding the talks.

Subsidiary body
A committee that assists the Conference of the Parties. Two permanent subsidiary bodies are created by the Convention: the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)
The SBI makes recommendations on policy and implementation issues to the COP and, if requested, to other bodies.

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)
The SBSTA serves as a link between information and assessments provided by expert sources (such as the IPCC) and the COP, which focuses on setting policy.

Sustainable development
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Development Policies and Measures (SDPAMs)

SDPAMs are policies and measures that developing countries can implement to meet their own sustainable development goals more effectively, while creating significant benefits for the global climate.

Technology transfer
A broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment for mitigating and adapting to climate change among different stakeholders

Umbrella group
A loose coalition of non-European Union developed countries formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there is no formal membership list, the group usually includes Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the United States.

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

The Division for Sustainable Development provides leadership and is a source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development. It promotes sustainable development as the substantive secretariat to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and through technical cooperation and capacity building at international, regional and national levels.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The UNEP works to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment amongst nations and peoples to improve quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.

Voluntary commitments
A draft article considered during the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol that would have permitted developing countries to voluntarily adhere to legally binding emissions targets. The proposed language was dropped in the final phase of the negotiations. The issue remains important for some delegations and may be discussed at upcoming sessions of the Conference of the Parties.

Vulnerability
The degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity.

World Climate Conference (WCC)

Convened by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO, the First and Second World Climate Conferences (1979 and 1990) alerted the world community to the need for a better understanding of climate systems, climate change and mitigation of its harmful effects and resulted in the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, respectively. [3]

World Health Organization. (WHO)

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO is an international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations at a global or near-global level.


[1] <unfccc.int/essential_background/glossary/items/3666.php>

[2] <pewclimate.org/docUploads/Sectoral-Background.pdf>

[3] <www.wmo.int/pages/world_climate_conference/index_en.html>

COP 15 Hill Briefings

Setting the Stage for Copenhagen (Oct 23)

Oct 23: Congressional Briefing on Int'l Climate Negotiations

Building Blocks of a Global Deal (Nov 13)

Building Blocks of a Global Deal (USCAN Congressional Briefing)

 

Copenhagen Campaigns

Domestic Legislation

Strong domestic action on climate is critical, but it alone is not sufficient to address the climate crisis. Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. The following resources describe the necessary components of domestic legislation to help us secure an international agreement that is fair, ambitious and binding.

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