Pre-Conference Overview

Climate change is a global challenge that requires a global solution; Building an Effective International Treaty (Policymakers' Guide, July 2001) is important. Negotiations resuming this month in Bonn, as well as further meetings scheduled in November 2001 in Marrakech, are critical next steps.

The talks in Bonn, Germany, July 16th - 27th, 2001, are aimed at completing the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, which would significantly strengthen the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established in 1992. (See our section on International Climate Negotiations (Policymakers' Guide, July 2001) for a full background and timeline on climate policy at the international level.)

In order for Kyoto to enter into force, it must be ratified by 55 countries representing 55 percent of developed country emissions. As of May 2001, 84 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol *(including the U.S.) (Policymakers' Guide, July 2001), and 34 have ratified it. Most countries were waiting for the outcome of the November 2000 meeting in The Hague before moving forward with ratification. Due to the Impasse at the Hague (Policymakers' Guide, July 2001), they are now awaiting decisions that might be made in Bonn or Marrakech.

In light of the Bush Administration's rejection of the Protocol, it remains uncertain whether the Parties will choose to continue down the path of Kyoto or attempt to develop an alternative international regime. The European Union has declared its intent to ratify the Protocol, but without the United States, meeting the threshold for entry into force will also require ratification by Japan and Russia.

Check this Web site for daily updates from Bonn, and analysis of the issues surrounding the extraordinary challenge of global climate change.

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