Bangkok starts on a despondent note

“Gap” in mitigation targets and period leaves UN hapless

Delhi: The Climate talks in Bangkok have started on a rather despondent note with the UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres reflecting serious despair in her statements about the future of GHG emission mitigation across the globe. Not only did she accept a possible gap between Kyoto Protocol and any future mitigation mechanism (either an extension of Kyoto or a new mechanism), she sounded weary about the voluntary mitigation targets that countries had put forth at the Cancun climate talks last year December.

Even the much touted ‘fast start’ finance for 2010 to 2012 has been delayed; the first meeting of a transitional committee to design the fund is to be held in Mexico on April 28th and 29th.

Noting that the first period of commitments under the legally-binding protocol would run out at the end of 2012, Ms Figueres said: “Governments have to face the fact that a gap in this effort looks increasingly impossible to avoid.”

After Bangkok, the forum meets in Bonn from June 6-17 at senior level and in Durban, South Africa, from November 28-December 9, ending at ministerial level.

The talks in Cancun last November 28-December 11 also yielded a rallying call to cap warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) but split badly over the future of the UNFCCC's Kyoto Protocol, whose first round of emissions-cutting pledges expires at the end of next year. The meeting in Bangkok from April 3-8 currently underway and being attended by representatives of 173 countries must pave the way to "the next big climate step" in Durban, South Africa, at year's end.