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Climate Talks are Heating Up - UN meeting in Vienna


UN climate change talks will take place at the Austrian Center, in Vienna, Austria, from
27-31 August 2007. Representatives from more than 100 countries will meet to discuss new measures to reduce climate-damaging emissions. Main topic on the agenda is the range of total emission reductions required beyond the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol in order to keep global warming in check. In addition, the meeting will consider exactly how much individual countries will contribute to these reductions. The results of the Vienna meeting are to inform the start of two years of negotiations of new binding climate targets at a ministerial conference this December in Bali, Indonesia.

Key Issues:
The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, and the Vienna meeting prepares the ground for talks on how to move on after 2012. Formal talks will commence in Bali in December this year. Negotiators in Vienna have the task to clear as much way as possible to help make the UN climate conference in Bali a success. Good preparation is important for such a complex discussion,“ said Hans Verolme, Director of the WWF Global Climate Change Programme. ”But what is most needed is decisiveness and a sense of urgency among world leaders to get those emissions down"

The crunch point of the discussions in Vienna is to identify the target range of emission reductions required to keep the climate safe. According to WWF, to avoid catastrophic climate change, emissions in industrialized countries should be reduced by at least 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 compared to the 1990 UN baseline. Global emissions will need to peak within the next decade. “Ordinary people are now experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change and are starting to appreciate that change is required to avoid catastrophic damage. We expect the countries represented here to show they understand what it takes and show some leadership by their support for strong new reduction targets,” said Hans Verolme, Director of the WWF Global Climate Change Programme.

In a special report to finance ministers, to be discussed at the Vienna meeting, the costs of a transition to a clean energy future are laid out. “Without considerable investment by banks and governments the world’s energy system will never be cleaned. That finance ministers from all major economies will meet and discuss how to clean the world’s energy systems shows that people are taking the issue seriously,” said Hans Verolme, Director of the WWF Global Climate Change Programme. “Financiers have finally recognized that if left unchecked climate change is bad for business; the cost of doing nothing is much higher than taking decisive climate action now.”


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