Bonn Climate Change Talks - March 2009: Day By Day Developments

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{{#badges: Climate change}}The Bonn Climate Change Talks to be held between March 20 and April 8 2009 are one of three negotiating sessions planned ahead of the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009.


At the start of the Bonn conference, Earth Negotiations Bulletin noted that[1]:

  • the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention was "expected to concentrate on a note prepared by the AWG-LCA Chair to focus the negotiation process on the fulfillment of the Bali Action Plan and on the components of the agreed outcome (FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/4, Parts I and II). The AWG-LCA will also convene three in-session workshops on sub-paragraphs 1(b) i and ii of the Bali Action Plan (mitigation by developed and developing countries), response measures, and mitigation in the agricultural sector."
  • the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (AWG-KP 7) "will seek to adopt conclusions on the aggregate scale of emission reductions by Annex I parties beyond 2012, and reach conclusions on a draft amendment text related to further commitments." ENB also noted that the AWG-KP is expected to further discuss issues including the "aggregate scale of Annex I parties’ emission reductions; parties’ individual or joint contributions to the aggregate scale; mitigation potential; flexibility mechanisms; land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); greenhouse gases, sectors and sources; potential consequences of tools, policies, measures and methodologies; aviation and maritime bunker fuels; and legal matters." It also noted that the agenda included a March 27 workshop on the scale of emission reductions and a workshop on potential consequences.

The Climate Action Network noted in ECO that developing countries were dragging their feet on commitments to funding necessary adaptation. ECO noted that "many promising proposals have been made for such a financial architecture, including the Mexican proposal for a global climate fund based on equity principles, the Norwegian proposal for an auction holdback, and the G77/China’s comprehensive proposal. Conspicuously absent at this point are concrete proposals from the US and the EU. Any such proposal will have to include both an adequate level of support, a fair assessment of contributions based on Convention principles, and an effective and transparent institutional mechanism."[2]

March 29

  • AWG-LCA:

Earth Negotiations Bulletin noted[3]:

    • the G-77/China expressed concern that the focus should be on implementing the Bali Action Plan. They ealso expressed concern that submissions by member countries had either been omitted or not adequately reflected in the text prepared by the chair. In particular they expressed concerns that proposals on adaptation, finance and technology had not been adequately addressed;
    • the African Group emphasized the need for adaptation and "massively scaled-up and predictable funding";
    • the Umbrella Group "identified the need for a global agreement that is: informed by science; achievable; comprehensive; and able to reflect the full spectrum of mitigation and adaptation options";
    • the Alliance of Small Island Developing States and the Least Developed Countries emphasized the need to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm) and limiting temperature increases to below 1.5ºC. They also expressed concern about attempts to treat adaptation funding as as a subset of general development assistance;
    • European Union argued that developing countries should reduce emissions by 15-30% below business as usual levels by 2020;
    • the Environmental Integrity Group emphasized the importance of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and proposed esatblishing a registry for them;
    • the US, "highlighted the urgency of addressing climate change, identified the need to be guided by science and pragmatism, and stressed links between sustainable development and the transformation to a low carbon economy. He recognized the unique position of the US as the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases and as a country with important capabilities, but underscored that the US alone cannot provide the solution to the climate change problem. Calling for significant action by major economies, he highlighted measures by the US and China in their economic stimulus packages to promote clean energy. He underscored President Obama’s plans for a federal cap-and-trade system that will set the US pathway to cutting emissions by 15% from current levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050, and highlighted technological leap-frogging by developing countries. The US also called for a shared vision that is guided by science and contains clear milestones, and identified the need to establish a structure for significant financial support for developing countries, and for an effective use of adaptation resources focusing on the most vulnerable countries";
    • Bangladesh emphasized the need for funding on adaptation and signalled its support for a levy on international air travel as a source of additional funding for adaptation;
    • Gambia also emphasized the importance of action on adaptation;
    • Nigeria called for "an ambitious emissions reduction target, negotiated in a flexible manner in an effort to reach a compromise";
    • India called for deep, mid-term emission reductions from Annex I countries and the fulfillment of commitments related to finance and technology transfer;
    • Tuvalu argued for all countries to reduce emissions drastically and urgently; and
    • Saudi Arabia "cautioned against overlooking non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions, and opposed proposals to reduce fossil fuels imports, given impacts to those economies that depend on such commodities."

The Group agreed to establish contact groups on shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, and on delivering on technology and financing.

ENB also noted that additional meetings of AWG-LCA are being canvassed for 10-14 August 2009 in Bonn, Germany, and from 2-13 November 2009 in a location to be decided.

  • AWG-KP

Earth Negotiations Bulletin noted[3] that in opening statements to the meeting:

    • G-77/China proposed that the emphasis of the meeting should be on "the aggregate scale of Annex I emission reductions and adopt conclusions on draft legal amendment text";
    • the Umbrella Group, the ENB wrote, emphasized "the complexity of assessing comparable mitigation efforts."
    • the Alliance of Small Island States called for the adoption of stabilization targets at well below 350 ppm with emissions peaking by 2015;
    • The Environmental Integrity Group supported the inclusion of new documented greenhouse gases and the improvement of the flexibility mechanisms.
    • the Least Developed Countries, ENB reported, "called for deep and ambitious reduction commitments on behalf of Annex I countries, and for ensuring that all efforts under the Protocol do not impose constraints on the most vulnerable countries."
    • Venezuela "expressed concern with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary’s declarations made at other forums regarding carbon capture and storage. (ENB does not make it clean what comments Venezuela was referring to).

March 30

ENB reported that the convened contact groups on technology and finance, adaptation, and a shared vision while the AWG-KP held a workshop on held an in-session workshop on "potential consequences of tools, policies, measures and methodologies available to Annex I parties."[4]

ENB noted that:

  • in the technology and finance contact groups, developing countries emphasized that the issue of finance and technology were "make or break" elements in a COP15 agreement. The G77/China group pointed out that Convention Article 4.7 makes developing countries’ commitments conditional to developed country assistance. The alliance of Small Island States asked developing countries how much by way of funding they would be “putting on the table” in Copenhagen. ENB also noted that South Africa " emphasized that climate change financing should not be merely a reshaping of ODA, and Pakistan stressed that market mechanisms alone cannot fill the financing gap." On technology, China supported the "technology roadmap, including identifying areas for technology financing, and urged a strong agreement that leads to meaningful technology transfer."
  • adaptation: Bangladesh supported a legally binding instrument while chile, Norway and the Alliance of Small Island States supported an adaptation framework. Japan supported a "comprehensive framework to sustain the most vulnerable countries and supported establishing a knowledge network for adaptation" while the African Group called for more attention to institutional arrangements. Norway, Canada and the US "suggested that goals be decided before developing institutional arrangements." ENB also reported that Pakistan "noted the necessity of defining adaptation needs nationally as well as of clearly identifying resources and mechanisms for their allocation and channeling."
  • Shared vision: G-77/China and AOSIS emphasized proposals for a financial architecture and a multilateral technology fund. China, India and the Philippines "stressed the urgency of setting mid-term emission reduction targets for developed countries" while India also "underscored 1990 baselines, maintaining the principles of the Convention and compensation for incremental costs." Japan argued that the shared vision should focus on the adoption of a long-term goal while the European Union argued for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50% by 2050 and peaking of emissions by 2020. reported that the US stated that a "should inspire and serve as the chapeau of the elements of the Bali Action Plan and that the US would adopt a cap-and-trade scheme with interim annual goals guided by a long-term perspective up to 2050." New Zealand argued that there was a need for a goal of stabilisizing greenhouse gases at no more than 450 ppm.


In plenary the group agreed to establish contact groups on potential consequences; emission reductions; legal matters; flexibility mechanisms; and LULUCF and agreed to "consult informally on 'other issues'".

  • Annex 1 emission reduction targets: AOSIS argued that there was a need for stabilization at below 350 ppm, peaking emissions by 2015 and emission reductions of more than 95% by 2050. Australian and New Zealand stated their preference for stabilization at 450 parts per million. Norway stated that it was aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030. Japan stated that they would announce their mid-term target in June. ENB also noted that the Russian Federation "was in the process of considering further emission reductions and opposed the adoption of a collective range as this would pre-judge individual obligations."

The International Maritime Organization, ENB reported, outlined "progress in the development of technical and operational measures, including energy efficiency indexes and indicators and management plans." The International Civil Aviation Organization announced that it would convene a conference on aviation and climate change in October 2009 and claimed that "aviation could be the first sector to use alternative fuels on a global basis."

March 31

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

Daily Bulletins on the Talks

Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Climate Action Network

  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 1", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, March 29, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 2", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, March 30, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 3", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, March 31, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 4", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, April 1, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 5", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, April 2, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 6", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, April 3, 2009.
  • Climate Action Network, "Bonn I ECO 7", Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, April 4, 2009.

Third World Network

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Curtainraiser", Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Volume 12 Number 397, March 29, 2009.
  2. Climate Action Network, "Responsible global financing", ECO, Climate Action Network website, Volume CXVII, March 29, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "AWG-LCA 5 and AWG-KP 7 Highlights: March 29", Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Volume 12 Number 398, March 30 2009.
  4. "AWG-LCA 5 and AWG-KP 7 Highlights: March 30", Volume 12 Number 399, March 31, 2009.

External Articles