CLIMATE AND ATMOSPHER
 

Greenhouse effect

is a warming of the lower atmosphere and surface of a planet by a complex process involving sunlight, gases, and particles in the atmosphere. On the earth, the greenhouse effect began long before human beings existed. However, recent human activity may have added to the effect. The amounts of heat-trapping atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases, have greatly increased since the mid-1800's, when modern industry became widespread. Since the late 1800's, the temperature of the earth's surface has also risen. The greenhouse effect is so named because the atmosphere acts much like the glass roof and walls of a greenhouse, trapping heat from the sun.
 




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CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS END WITH 200-PAGE DRAFT NEGOTIATING TEXT


The Bonn Climate Change Talks, which convened in Germany from 1-12 June 2009, consisted of the 30th sessions of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientifi c and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the sixth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 6), and the eighth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Protocol (AWG-KP 8). The main focus in Bonn was to enhance international climate change cooperation, including in the post-2012 period when the fi rst commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires. The long-term issues were considered by the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP, which are both scheduled to conclude their work by the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15), to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009. AWG-LCA 6 concentrated on developing negotiating text, and completed the fi rst and second readings of the Chair’s draft (FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/8), which served as a starting point. The main outcome was a 200-page draft negotiating text that will be forwarded to the AWG-LCA’s next meeting. The draft covers all the main elements of the Bali Action Plan namely: a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, mitigation, adaptation, fi nance, and technology. AWG-KP 8 continued considering Annex I parties’ further commitments under the Protocol. Discussions focused on proposals by various parties for Annex I countries’ aggregate and individual emission reduction targets beyond 2012. No agreement was reached on the targets. The main outcomes from the SBI included agreement to reconstitute the Consultative Group of Experts on Non-Annex I National Communications. Under the SBSTA, the main issues considered included research and systematic observation, various methodological issues, technology transfer and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD). Overall, these meetings resulted in the adoption of 31 conclusions and seven draft decisions that will be forwarded to COP 15 or to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in December 2009, for their consideration (http://www.iisd.ca/climate/sb30/).



UNCCD MARKS WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, PROJECT AND PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCED

The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertifi cation (UNCCD) selected the theme “Conserving land and water = Securing our common future” for the 17 June celebration of World Day to Combat Desertifi cation. The 2009 Day marks 15 years since the Convention was adopted and opened for signature. In a joint statement to mark the Day, the UNCCD and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) announced that they have agreed to develop a US$7.5 million project to support countries to meet their obligations under the Convention. The project will be implemented in collaboration with UNEP/GEF, and will assist parties to the UNCCD to set up or strengthen national monitoring and assessment systems, enabling them to report back to the COP on the status of implementation of their National Action Programmes in the context of their national sustainable development objectives (http://www.unccd.int/publicinfo/ june17/2009/menu.php?newch=l2).
In other UNCCD news, representatives from the Secretariat and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) participated in a retreat, from 4-5 June 2009, in Bonn, Germany, that sought to build common ground and a framework for partnership to combat desertifi cation, land degradation and to mitigate effects of drought. The event was co-chaired by UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja and Director of UNDP Environment and Energy Group Veerle Vandeweerd. Based on their discussions, the UNCCD and UNDP agreed to establish a strategic working partnership on a pilot basis, to collaborate on a range of programmatic actions with the overall aim of reducing poverty by enhancing ecosystem functions and services in the drylands (http://www.unccd.int/publicinfo/undp/ menu.php). The UNCCD Secretariat has also posted the advance versions of several documents for the upcoming ninth session of the Conference of the Parties, including information for participants and the agenda and annotations (http:// www.unccd.int/cop/cop9/menu.php).

UNDOALOS ORGANIZES ICP10, RELEASES REPORT ON THE RESULTS OF THE “ASSESSMENT OF ASSESSMENTS”

The UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS) organized the tenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP10 or Consultative Process), which took place from 17-19 June 2009, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The meeting brought together over 350 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. During the meeting, plenary sessions were held to address: the implementation of the outcomes of the Consultative Process, including a review of its achievements and shortcomings in its fi rst nine years; issues that could benefi t from attention in the future work of the General Assembly on oceans and the law of the sea; and consideration of the outcome of the meeting. The Secretary- General’s report on “Oceans and the law of the sea” (A/64/66) provided the basis for discussion. The meeting’s outcome consists in a report drafted by Co-Chairs Amb. Paul Badji (Senegal) and Amb. Don MacKay (New Zealand) containing a summary of plenary and panel discussions on the ICP’s: mandate, objective and role; outcomes and their implementation; format and methods of work; and issues that could benefi t from future attention. The summary, which was adopted with minor amendments, will be forwarded to the General Assembly for consideration at its 64th session under the agenda item “Oceans and the law of the sea” (http://www.iisd. ca/oceans/icp10/). In other news, UNDOALOS has released the advance and unedited report on the results of the “Assessment of Assessments” (the Regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects). The report was prepared by the UN Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and CulCultural Organization, as the invited lead agencies, and contains a report on the outcomes of the fourth meeting of the Assessment of Assessments Ad Hoc Steering Group and the fi ndings of the Assessment of Assessments, including options and a framework for a Regular Process. The report will be considered by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at its 64th session under the agenda item “Oceans and the law of the sea.” The report will also serve as a basis for discussions by the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole, which will be convened by UNGA (A/RES/63/111 paragraph 157) in New York, US, from 31 August- 4 September 2009, to recommend to UNGA a course of action regarding a Regular Process.
(http://www.un.org/ Depts/los/global_reporting/report_assessment. pdf).

 

Source :
Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC) UNEP.
www.iisd.ca.

 

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