This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 19, 2007

Negotiators in Bali Agree to Work Toward New Climate Agreement

Representatives from 187 countries agreed on Saturday, December 15th, to work toward a new and strengthened climate change deal. The agreement reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, aims to conclude negotiations on a new climate change agreement by 2009, allowing time for the agreement to be implemented by 2013, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. For now, the negotiators have agreed to a framework for the upcoming negotiations in the form of the "Bali Roadmap," also called the "Bali Action Plan." The action plan calls for quantified limits and reduction objectives for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from developed countries, while also calling for developing countries to address their GHG emissions using "nationally appropriate" mitigation actions that are measurable, reportable, and verifiable. The agreement also addresses deforestation and carbon capture and storage and will lead to the immediate establishment of an adaptation fund for developing countries, funded through a mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. The White House noted that the United States joined in the consensus decision, but continued to express concerns about holding developing countries accountable for their GHG emissions. See the White House press release.

The Bali Conference also made important progress on the issue of providing developing countries with the technologies they need for adaptation to climate change and for GHG emissions mitigation, including clean energy technologies. The governments agreed to create a strategic program to scale up the level of investment needed for the transfer of technologies for both adaptation and mitigation. The aim of the new program is to pursue demonstration projects, to create more attractive environments for investment, and to provide incentives to the private sector for technology transfer. The Global Environment Facility—the world's largest environmental funding body—will lead the program, working with international financial institutions and representatives of the private financial sector.

The conference parties also agreed to extend the mandate of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer for another five years. The Expert Group has been asked to pay particular attention to the assessment of gaps and barriers to the use of, and the access to, financing resources. The Expert Group will also establish performance indicators that can be used to regularly monitor and evaluate progress on the development, deployment, and transfer of environmentally sound technologies. The members of the group are nominated by the conference parties, and the group has been meeting since 2002. See the press release (PDF 56.8 KB) and all the conference agreements on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Web site. Download Adobe Reader.