Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 10)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
December 6-17, 2004
Climate negotiators gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 6-17 for COP 10 – the Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
COP 10 convenes as the international climate change effort enters a critical transitional phase. In November, Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol , the final step needed to bring the treaty into force. The protocol establishes binding greenhouse gas emission limits for the 30 industrialized countries that have ratified it and an international emissions trading system. Kyoto’s entry into force also sets the stage for negotiations beginning in 2005 toward future climate commitments.
With few major issues due for decision, COP 10 serves largely as an opportunity to assess progress and consider the challenges ahead. The broad theme of the high-level segment attended by Ministers is the 10th anniversary of the UNFCCC’s entry into force. Ministers will engage in panel discussions on: the Convention after 10 years – accomplishments and future challenges; impacts of climate change, adaptation measures and sustainable development; technology and climate change; and mitigation of climate change – policies and their impacts. Ministers are not expected to adopt a ministerial declaration.
One possible outcome is agreement to organize a seminar in 2005 to begin exploring possible next steps  in the international effort. Other issues include efforts by developing countries to accelerate assistance for adaptation to climate change; the treatment of sinks in the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism; and the treatment of emissions from marine and aviation fuels.
We held a side event on Monday, December 13, to present two new papers: Climate Data: Insights and Observations ; and International Climate Efforts Beyond 2012: A Survey of Approaches . The papers were developed as input to our Climate Dialogue at Pocantico , an ongoing series of discussions among senior policymakers and stakeholders from 15 countries on options for next steps in the international climate effort. Speakers at the side event included dialogue participants Gao Feng, Acting Director General of the Department of Treaty and Law in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Michael Zammit Cutajar, Ambassador for International Environmental Affairs for Malta.
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