U.N. Bonn Talks Have New Incentives for Progress

May 30, 2010


(Washington – May 30, 2010) The United Nations opens climate change negotiations in Bonn on Monday with new opportunities for reaching agreements on critical issues, representatives of Environmental Defense Fund said today.

“The impetus is here for driving these negotiations forward—new climate and energy legislation in the U.S. Senate, renewed political and public interest in the environment as the oil spill disaster continues to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico, significant developments on preserving forests, and a new leader soon to take the helm of international negotiations,” said Gus Silva-Chávez, a member of EDF’s international team at the Bonn talks.

“Nations can waste this opportunity and fall back into their old ruts of disagreements and bickering, or they can seize the initiative to use this perfectly-timed conference to make progress,” said Silva- Chávez.

The Bonn Climate Talks, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is the first major UN climate conference since last December’s session in Copenhagen and is considered an important stepping stone toward the 2010 conference in Cancun, Mexico in November.

Silva-Chávez cited this week’s agreement by 50 nations to spend $4 billion on curbing carbon emissions by protecting forests through the program to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) as an important symbol of international cooperation. This Oslo-Paris parallel forum to the UNFCCC process was able to successfully agree on key components for a REDD Partnership in a matter of months, demonstrating what can be achieved when the political will exists.

But, global action also is needed to create and enforce new forest and land use accounting methods in developed countries that—, through a system of credits and debits—would encourage improved use of forests, agricultural lands, wetlands and other threatened land areas, Silva-Chávez said. EDF considers scientifically robust accounting standards for forests in developed and developing countries fundamental to successfully addressing climate change.

Gus Silva-Chávez is available in Bonn beginning Sunday, May 30 through June 9, and may be reached at gsilva-chavez@edf.org or at +1-202-316-0829.

Annie Petsonk, EDF’s international counsel, is available in Bonn June 7-12 and may be reached at apetsonk@edf.org or at +1-202-365-3237.

In the United States, please contact Tony Kreindler at tkreindler@edf.org or 202-445-8108, or Jennifer Andreassen at jandreassen@edf.org or 202-288-4867.