Ministers and officials here on Tuesday agreed to initiate a discussion process among finance ministers on climate change issues.
The High Level Event on Climate Change for Finance Ministers drew together finance ministers and officials from 36 countries and 13 international financial institutions and multilateral organizations, for the first time, to focus their attention exclusively on climate change.
The meeting, organized and hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, was held in parallel with the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
"Both Finance and Development ministers were eager to contribute to this discussion in very thoughtful and substantive way. We were able to agree on a number of issues. Ministers also proposed to carry this discussion forward into our other meetings in 2008. We expect that this dialogue will be sustained at a high level through the next year and beyond," said Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani at a press conference.
Participants agreed that it is important for Ministers of Finance to take a more active role and integrate climate change issues into development planning and economic policies. They agreed that future Finance Ministers meetings will include climate change sessions.
The participants recognized that Finance Ministers can play a role in accessing important opportunities related to the carbon market, technological innovation and transfer. They noted that collective effort to generate additional investment and financial flows will be needed to implement effective mitigation and adaptation approaches.
The United Kingdom, World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) plan to support specific studies on climate change in collaboration with several developing countries.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference opened on the island of Bali on Dec. 3. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a statement at the opening of the High-Level segment on Wednesday and the segment is due to end on Friday.
During these last three days of the conference, Environment Ministers will seek to reach agreement on the shape of a future international climate pact after 2012, when the first implementation period of the Kyoto Protocol expires.