Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change
(Overview and Evaluation)

(September 15-16, 2004)

1. Overview

The Informal meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change (Co-chaired by Mr. Masaki Konishi, Ambassador for Global Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Vieira Vargas, Director General, Department of Environment and Special Affairs, Ministry of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil) was convened with the participation of high-level government officials of major developed and developing countries (19 Parties of the UNFCCC) that account for about 80% of the amount of global greenhouse gas emissions.

(The meeting took place in the form of a closed meeting in order to facilitate frank exchange of opinions. It was understood that opinions expressed in the meeting did not necessarily reflect the official views of the governments.)

2. Evaluation (Major results)

(1) The significance of measures against climate change based on scientific analysis and knowledge was confirmed

  • Experts on science and economic models took part in this meeting. They discussed the actions to be taken on the issue of climate change, considering a mid- to long-term span beyond the Kyoto Protocol, and presented the government officials with their objective outlook of future emission levels and the possibility of emission reductions based on data and models.

  • Through the participation and work of the experts, the government officials were presented with information and materials for decision-making and possible options to be considered when reviewing in a more detailed and objective manner the enhancement of future global measures against climate change. Furthermore, the mutual understanding and dialogue between experts and government officials were deepened through this process.

(2) Major developing countries indicated their willingness to take more substantial efforts

  • As greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries are estimated to increase rapidly, the developing countries noted that taking "prudent actions" would be vital for strengthening measures against climate change. They also expressed their intention to implement measures suitable for the unique situation of each country while striving to achieve "sustainable development."

  • At the same time, the developing countries pointed out the need for the following to be fulfilled as prerequisites for taking such measures: early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, fulfillment of the pledges by the developed countries, transfer of effective emissions reduction technologies and others.

(3) Vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change and the importance of "adaptation" measures were confirmed

  • The majority of participants agreed on the importance of considering further actions against climate change in a comprehensive manner, incorporating both adaptation and mitigation (reduction of emissions), focusing on the aspect of "adaptation" (measures against adverse effects of climate change such as floods and droughts), which is of high concern for developing countries that are particularly vulnerable To the effects of climate change.

  • On the other hand, since common understanding has not been reached among the countries concerned on the definition or scope of adaptation measures, many participants pointed out the need to further accumulate scientific knowledge and exchange opinions.

(4) Contribution towards advancing formal negotiation at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • Many participants assessed the frank exchange of opinions at this informal meeting as beneficial, and expressed their strong hope that the results of this meeting will be presented in such a way as to facilitate formal negotiations at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • Furthermore, regarding how the discussions on "future actions" that are to be taken after the expiration of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol should be conducted at the COP 10 (the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties), the participants expressed a variety of views, ranging from ambitious ones that advocated immediate opening of formal negotiations to more cautious ones. Consequently, the participants recognized the need to give further consideration to this matter, including a proposal to, "commence analytical works through organizing seminars on this topic under the direction of the COP."

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