Local governments in the second round of talks on climate change in Bonn, 31 May to 11 June


The UCLG delegation, led by the city of Nantes, has been following the second round of talks on climate change, which took place in Bonn, Germany from 31 May to 11 June 2010. This marked the first occasion since the COP 15 in Copenhagen last December where the Parties worked on the negotiating texts.
These two weeks allowed local governments’ representatives the opportunity to renew contact with national delegations and groups of States including: Mexico, Switzerland, Korea, Spain- currently holding the Presidency of Europe, Belgium, France, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo- as President of the African group, Central Africa, Gabon and others, and to thank them for their constant support in the negotiation process, especially in Copenhagen.

The delegation has also been closely following issues which are gaining importance in the negotiations and finding deeper agreement between Parties. One of these issues was the question of use and conservation of forests (REDD), which was watched by a representative of the city of Manaus, in the Amazon region, Brasil. Regarding the necessary education, training, and public awareness of citizens in the world as indicated in article 6 of the convention, local governments called upon the Parties to support the actions of cities in developing countries and the possibilities offered by the growing number of cooperation between north and south local governments, and to accurately integrate the efforts they produce in the communications that each country is supposed to deliver regarding reduction of gas emissions.

The recognition of the added value of the participation of observer organisations, including local and regional governments’ organisations, in the process was also at the heart of the discussions, within constituencies and Parties. Many States, including Mexico, host of the next Conference of the Parties, expressed their attachment to this participation in the process.

Although there has been some progress in the agreements on the main issues of a post-2012 agreement, with most parties willing to compromise to find an agreement for the end of the year and thereby avoid repeating Copenhagen, matters prove far more difficult when it comes to the text. As the talks ended, Local governments were still recognized in the main parts of the Convention text, but the future of this text has been questioned heavily and the Parties requested the proposal of a new text for the next session, which will be held during the first week of August, in Bonn.

Further talks, the final ones before COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico in December, will take place in China in October.