Ministers call for effective action to limit emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change
Delhi Declaration links climate change to sustainable development
UNFCCC press release
New Delhi, 1 November 2002 - Ministers and senior officials from some 170 countries have adopted a Delhi Ministerial Declaration on climate change and sustainable development.
It stresses that in addition to mitigation, high priority must be given to adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change. The Declaration reiterates the importance of carrying out all existing international commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It also calls for early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Declaration further promotes less polluting energy and other innovative technologies. It urges governments to promote technological advances through research and development, to substantially increase renewable energy resources and to promote the transfer of technologies that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in major economic sectors including through public sector and market-oriented approaches.
"The New Delhi conference has achieved its main goals of further strengthening international collaboration on climate change while meeting the requirements of sustainable development," said Joke Waller-Hunter, the Convention's Executive Secretary.
"Now the spotlight must focus on action to accelerate the transition to climate-friendly economies. Industrialized countries have only 10 years to meet their Kyoto emissions targets - and the evidence today is that most of them still have a great deal of work to do to reduce their greenhouse gases," she said.
The New Delhi climate change conference, which started on 23 October and ends today, adopted a number of decisions on the institutions and procedures of the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol, which is expected to enter into force in the first few months of 2003, commits developed countries to reducing their overall emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases during the period 2008 - 2012.
One of the conference's biggest accomplishments was making the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism fully operational. The CDM will channel private-sector investment into emissions-reduction projects in developing countries. In this way, it will promote sustainable development in these countries while offering industrialized governments credits against their Kyoto targets. The first projects are now likely to be approved during the first quarter of 2003.
The conference also concluded three years of work on the procedures for reporting and reviewing emissions data from developed countries. The result is an unprecedented international system for ensuring that national data on greenhouse gas emissions are comparable and credible. This is vital for safeguarding the integrity of the Kyoto agreement and promoting compliance with its emissions targets. The Parties improved guidelines for reporting by non-Annex I Parties of the Convention. These guidelines should substantially improve the quality of reports and be a means of assisting non-Annex I Parties in identifying important needs under the Convention.
Other conference decisions will advance the implementation of the Climate Change Convention. The meeting is providing guidance to the Global Environment Facility on the priorities for two new funds - the Special Climate Change Fund and a least developed country fund - that were established last year. These funds will help developing countries adapt to climate change impacts, obtain clean technologies and limit growth in their emissions.
Delegates also agreed on improved guidelines for national communications from developing countries. Governments issue these communications on a regular basis in order to share information with others about their climate change policies and activities.
Another conference decision established the New Delhi work programme on promoting public awareness, education and training.
The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force 90 days after being ratified by 55 governments, including developed countries representing at least 55% of that group's 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. Ninety-six Parties have ratified, including developed countries accounting for 37.4% of CO2 emissions. Poland and the Republic of Korea announced their ratification at the Delhi conference. The Russian Federation and several other countries are expected to ratify in the near future, pushing this percentage over the threshold.
The Eighth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP 8) was attended by 5,000 participants from 170 countries and numerous organizations. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee addressed the meeting on Wednesday, and some 65 ministers from around the world participated in the high-level segment. COP 9 will be hosted by the Government of Italy from 1 - 12 December 2003.
Note to journalists: For further information, please contact Axel Wuestenhagen at 91-98-1069-8137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Declaration and conference decisions will be posted at www.unfccc.int shortly.
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