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UN: warmest-ever 2003 is a warning

Published on 27/11/2003

27 November 2003

BONN – With this year likely to go down on record as the warmest ever recorded, the world should take this as a serious warning about the changes going on in the planet’s climate, the United Nations said in Bonn.

At the same time, according to the Bonn-based secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, while progress has been made in some areas of protecting the climate, more needs to be done.

The issues will be taken up at the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP 9) in Milan, Italy, with some 4,000 participants from the 188 parties to the convention expected to attend.

“The fact that 2003 is on track to be one of the warmest years on record should be a warning that we must all take seriously,” said Joke Waller-Hunter, the Conventions Executive Secretary.

“We can see growing evidence that many governments have been inspired by the Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol to strengthen action at the national level, but more needs to be done to stop the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations,” she added.

The secretariat said that the Milan conference will evaluate the efforts that governments have been making to tackle the climate change challenge.

The “national communications” that they submit on a regular basis reveal that the combined emissions of Europe, Japan, the United States and other highly industrialized countries could grow by 8 percent from 2000 to 2010 – roughly 17 percent over 1990 levels – despite domestic measures currently in place to limit them.

The secretariat said that while the 1997 Kyoto Protocol has not yet entered into force, many governments are citing its influence on their efforts to reinforce domestic climate change policies.

The Protocol has been ratified by 119 Parties, but its entry into force depends on ratification by the Russian Federation.

The Milan conference will see some 100 workshops and panel discussions on a wide variety of climate, technology, ecology and other related issues, among them a review of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The CDM promotes sustainable development in developing countries by channelling private-sector investment into emission reduction projects, while offering industrialized countries credits against their Kyoto Protocol targets.

The UN said the “high-level segment” of the Milan conference takes place 10 and 11 December with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi slated to speak and some 80 ministers from around the world are expected to participate in the debate on climate issues.

Subject: German news