Minister Gabriel welcomes Bali outcome as major progress

Federal Environment Minister Gabriel welcomes the outcome of the Climate Change Conference in Bali as "a painstakingly achieved but sound compromise with substantial commitments". "The result does not go as far as Germany and the EU had hoped. But it is much better than was expected in view of the difficult situation at the offset and the diverging interests," commented Minister Gabriel at the end of the two-week conference. "The signal from Bali is that the international community wants to negotiate a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol in the next two years. And: both developed and developing countries want to step up their climate protection efforts. Compared with the deadlock in the situation at the last Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Bali represents major progress."

The negotiating mandate agreed on in Bali contains an ambitious agenda for both developed and developing countries.

All developed countries, including the US, want to undertake considerably greater commitments or actions to combat climate change. These efforts, which expressly include quantified targets on limiting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, must be "measurable, reportable and verifiable." And comparability of efforts must be ensured, taking into account differences in national circumstances. A decision on the internationally binding character of these targets could not have been expected in Bali.

It is a huge mark of progress that in Bali the developing countries, which are much less responsible for the causes of climate change, agreed for the first time to take more far-reaching measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These measures too must be “measurable, reportable and verifiable” according to the Bali decision. It goes without saying that the developing countries want technological and financial support in this.

The topics of negotiation are not arbitrary, there are clear provisions for long-term and medium-term goals. The negotiating mandate is based on the scientific findings of the IPCC; reference is made to its most recent synthesis report. In this report, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 25 to 40 percent by 2020 is considered necessary for developed countries. The negotiations must provide answers to the questions posed by the IPCC.

Important decisions were also taken in other areas: for the first time, a concrete and comprehensive work programme was adopted in the field of technology transfer. The Adaptation Fund, which will finance measures for adaptation to climate change, was launched. Another new aspect is that deforestation is to be incorporated into the future climate regime. A first meeting of the new ad hoc working group will already take place in spring 2008.

In Bali, the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol also adopted an ambitious negotiating roadmap with concrete targets. In this the Parties acknowledge, with a specific reference to the IPCC report, that developed countries must reduce their emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020.

Sigmar Gabriel: "Bali has laid the foundations to enable us to be optimistic of success in negotiations on a second climate protection agreement. Bali was arduous and laborious. But in fact, the actual hard work begins now."

15.12.2007 | Press release No. 352