Wednesday, June 20, 2012


date: Tue, 03 Nov 98 11:46:38 -0500
from: James Sniffen <sniffenjatXYZxyzorg>
subject: UNEP Calls for Continued Collaboration at COP4
to: climate-l <climate-latXYZxyzet.MB.CA>



BUENOS AIRES, 2 November 1998 - On the opening day of the Climate
Change Treaty talks here in Buenos Aires, the Executive Director of
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Klaus Toepfer,
called for effective cooperation and collaboration among all
players, in order to "repair the environment and forestall a
climate catastrophe".

Outlining UNEP's expectations for the Fourth Conference of the
Parties (COP-4) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), meeting here from 2 to 13 November, Mr.
Toepfer emphasized the importance of building on the good
preparations undertaken by UNEP and others for the Conference.

"Such work is a pre-condition for action and will, I hope, enable
Governments to agree on a clear Plan of Action and timetable, to
solve the many outstanding substantial and methodological problems
faced by both developed and developing countries alike", he said.

Mr. Toepfer underlined that the "mechanisms" agreed to in Kyoto at
the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-3) cannot be
a substitute for domestic action by industrialized countries. "The
bottom line is that developed countries must start cutting their
emissions of greenhouse gases. They should adopt win-win
strategies, those that reduce emissions in ways that also help the
economy. All other action should be supplemental to this effort",
he said.

Last year in Kyoto, Japan, Governments agreed on a Protocol to the
UNFCCC. By adopting the Kyoto Protocol, Annex 1 countries to the
UNFCCC (developed countries) signed up to the first ever legally
binding targets for cutting the production of the greenhouse gases
that cause climate change.

Now, one year on, the task in Buenos Aires is to establish the
rules of the game - the practical steps - for reaching those Kyoto
Protocol targets.

"UNEP will continue to play a leading, integrated role in this
process", said Mr. Toepfer. "In collaboration with others, UNEP is
contributing to the development of the mechanisms established under
the Kyoto Protocol, just as it did in establishing the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the World
Meteorological Organization."

UNEP is specifically responding to the question of the impact of
climate change. In this regard, the Global Environment
Facility's Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) - for
which UNEP provides the secretariat - is convening a workshop today
at COP-4. "Climate Change Impact, Assessment and Responses" is
being held in collaboration with UNEP, IPCC and the Convention on
Climate Change's Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological
Advice (SBSTA). "The important work we are doing on impact,
mitigation, adaptation and assessment will be closely integrated
into the work of the IPCC's Working Group II", said Mr. Toepfer.

"A further priority for UNEP", Mr. Toepfer continued, "is to look
at the sustainable development component - the social, economic and
environmental implications - of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM) and ensure developing countries have
access to the necessary information about it. It is fundamental
that we help fully integrate all countries into the climate change
debate and act as a forum for open, informed dialogue", he said.

To this end, UNEP hosted a special meeting of African environment
ministers and experts in Nairobi last month where COP-4 topped the
agenda. The meeting, attended by 26 ministers, was designed to
provide them with an opportunity to learn more about, and discuss,
the implications for Africa of important environment agreements (on
climate change, the ozone layer, biodiversity and desertification),
and the strong inter-linkages between them.

There are strong scientific relationships between the various
environmental conventions and UNEP believes a strong initiative to
reinforce inter-linkages between environmental issues and human
needs can offer new and better opportunities to devise effective
policies that meet both local and global needs. On 12 November in
Buenos Aires, UNEP and The World Bank will launch a new
"Inter-linkages Assessment Report." (Media are invited.)

The Nairobi ministerial meeting allowed for African countries to
agree on a Common Position with regard to the CDM, which they
agreed should be a high priority for Africa. UNEP will continue to
actively facilitate similar dialogue amongst developing countries
and, at the request of African Governments, play a more active role
in CDM-related activities.

The Kyoto Protocol's mechanisms may be one way forward, especially
with regard to the CDM and transfer of environment friendly
technology to developing countries, but they are not, on their own,
a solution to the climate change problem.

"From Buenos Aires we need a clear signal that all involved with
the issue mean business", said Mr. Toepfer. "Action from
Governments will help convince producers, consumers, communities
and individuals to adjust their activities in ways that limit
emissions, as the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol will only
succeed if they are widely supported by the public and by key
constituencies and interest groups", he said.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact
Robert Bisset, UNEP Press Officer on tel/fax: (54-1)-314 1400,
mobile: 15-4166147, E-mail:

UNEP News Release 1998/COP4/1

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