Panama climate talks mean governments can push ahead strongly in Durban with concrete help for developing world to deal with climate change

(Panama, 7 October 2011) – A week of formal climate negotiations in Panama ended on Friday with progress on drafting those decision texts that will allow governments to push ahead strongly in Durban with concrete help for the developing world to deal with climate change.

“Panama made good progress on preparing the decisions that will help developing countries adapt to climate change and get access to the technologies they need to create their own clean energy futures,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This includes meeting deadlines for the launch of the new Adaptation Committee and Technology Mechanism which were agreed at last year’s Cancun climate change conference.

“It also made clear progress on how efforts to limit emissions by developing countries will be matched with necessary support from developed countries in a transparent way, ”she said. This includes work on a new Registry to record and account for this effort, which was also agreed in Cancun.

The meeting in Panama City (1 to 7 October 2011) was the last formal negotiating session of the year designed to prepare for the next annual UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa (28 November to 9 December 2011).

“The progress made in Panama means governments can have more time and space in the coming weeks and during Durban to resolve those outstanding issues on the future of the global climate change regime which will require political guidance,” said Ms Figueres.

“Durban will have to resolve the open question over the future of the Kyoto Protocol and what that means for a future global climate agreement. Governments retain different positions but many technical issues related to this have already been brought to conclusion and there is a strong desire from all sides to see a final political decision made,” she said.

Ms Figueres noted that in Panama the South African Presidency led two inclusive and transparent consultations on these questions, one with governments and one with stakeholders and civil society.