The 13th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which concluded in Bali in Indonesia on last Saturday was a partial success. It has some good message for the rural community.
The world leaders recognised that 20% of the global emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be contained by forestation. The programme, Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) aims to compensate the developing countries in the tropical region to maintain their forests and discourages deforestation. It allows developing countries to sell carbon offsets to rich countries in return for not burning their tropical forests from 2013.
REDD initiative is the need of the hour when largescale deforestation is taking place across the world for urbanisation, oil palm, soyabean and bio-fuel crop plantation.
The Bali conference also stressed upon the urgent need to cut carbon and methane emissions from tropical forests.
The Bali conference also adopted a resolution on adaptation fund to help poor nations to cope with damage from climate change impact like droughts, extreme weather conditions or rising seas. The Adaptation Fund now comprises only about $36 million but might rise to $1-$5 billion a year by 2030, if investments in green technology in developing nations surges. The fund distinguished the responsibilities of the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank. The fund would have a 16-member board largely from developing countries and would start operating from 2008.
Senior researchers of the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) had urged the developed countries to urgently discuss adaptation funds as the key to solution of the problems. The Lead author of the recent UNDP report, Kevin Watkins said that as per estimate $86 billion annually. "The figure looks large, but actually it is only 0.2% of the rich countries GDP," he said and added that adaptation fund sourced from multilateral funding in the last two years was only $26 million—the amount spent by UK alone on flood control for a week.
A group of small island communities led by Biotani Indonesia Foundation has urged that the adaptation fund should include a special corpus to cover their initiatives.
The Bali conference succeeded in adopting a resolution on technology tranfer and also Its monitoring. It, however, failed address the vital issue of cut in GHG emissions and deferred it till 2009.
It also postponed until next year any consideration of a plan to fund an untested technology which captures and buries the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, emitted from power plants that burn fossil fuels.
It also failed to agree whether or not to allow companies to sell carbon offsets from destroying new production of powerful greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Benefiting factories have been the biggest winners under a UN scheme to reward companies which cut greenhouse gas emissions.