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Swiss help forge climate treaty

A Swiss delegation is in Bonn to help draft the treaty on greenhouse gases due to be passed by the climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

This content was published on June 1, 2009 - 15:19

Some 3000 delegates from all over the world started their meeting on Monday to try to find an agreed text to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997 and in force since 2005, set binding targets for industrial countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which are thought to be a major contributing factor to global warming.

Not only do the participants at the Bonn meeting hope to draft a binding treaty that will come into force in 2013 and be valid for at least five years, they also want to formulate a common vision for 2050. The latest climate research indicates that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by some 85 per cent if global warming is to be stabilised.

Last month the Swiss government outlined a new CO2 law for Switzerland, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20 per cent in comparison with the 1990 levels by 2020. This target follows that set by the EU countries.

The Swiss delegation to Bonn, led by Thomas Kolly, head of the international affairs division in the Swiss Environment Office, expects other industrialised countries to come up with similar pledges and hopes to include the emerging countries (India, China and Brazil) in the agreement.

When the conference opened, the draft document, containing ideas submitted by all sides, was broadly accepted as a basis for negotiations, despite coming under strong criticism from both rich and poor nations.

Another three conferences are planned in the run-up to December's Copenhagen meeting.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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