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High level discussions on climate change

The European Environment Commissioner, Mrs Ritt Bjerregaard, will attend a high level meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 and 18 September 1998. The aim of the meeting is to discuss climate change issues in preparation for the fourth conference of the parties to the UN Convention o...
The European Environment Commissioner, Mrs Ritt Bjerregaard, will attend a high level meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 and 18 September 1998. The aim of the meeting is to discuss climate change issues in preparation for the fourth conference of the parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Buenos Aires in November 1998.

The agenda for discussion has been set in broad terms and will include an exchange of information on the domestic efforts of participating countries to implement the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol and international cooperation issues. The EU strategy up to the next meeting in Buenos Aires was presented during an informal meeting in the European Parliament on 14 and 15 September 1998. This strategy contains many of the important elements of the EU's fight against climate change, such as the need for an action plan to implement the Kyoto commitments, domestic action, flexible mechanisms, compliance and questions related to developing countries.

The main priority in the EU climate change strategy is to agree on an action plan setting out the basic principles for implementation of Kyoto commitments, listed in the first Annex to the Protocol. This plan should address flexibility mechanisms and set out a strict timetable for dealing with technical issues which cannot be resolved in Buenos Aires.

Issues such as domestic action will also be on the agenda and the EU will show how it is on course for the stabilisation of emissions at 1990 levels in the year 2000. The issue of flexibility will also be discussed, with reference to the fact that it cannot be a substitute for domestic action, but can only build on accountability as well as on confidence in the participant's ability to monitor and control emissions.
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