The 15-day U.N. climate change conference ended Saturday with the adoption of a Bali roadmap, which is expected to launch negotiations on a crucial international climate change regime up to 2009.
The Bali Roadmap, agreed by over 180 countries meeting in Indonesia's resort island of Bali, includes a clear agenda for the key issues to be negotiated up to 2009, including action for adapting to the negative consequences of climate change, ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ways to deploy climate-friendly technologies and financing both adaptation and mitigation measures.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (4th-L) attends the opening of the high-level segment of the UN Climate Change Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali island Dec. 12, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
"This is a real breakthrough, a real opportunity for the international community to successfully fight climate change," said Indonesian Environment Minister and President of the conference Rachmat Witoelar.
"Parties have recognized the urgency of action on climate change and have now provided the political response to what scientists have been telling us is needed," he noted.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said, "We now have a roadmap, we have an agenda and we have a deadline."
"But we also have a huge task ahead of us and time to reach agreement is extremely short, so we need to move quickly," he said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed welcome to the outcome of the climate change conference in Bali, terming that the Bali Agenda achieves three objectives: launching negotiations on a global climate change agreement, agreeing to an agenda for the negotiations, and agreeing to complete them by 2009.
He believes that the Bali Roadmap is a pivotal first step toward an agreement that can address the threat of climate change.
The Bali Roadmap was adopted after the U.S. delegation dropped its opposition to a proposal by the main developing nation bloc, the G77, for rich nations to do more for the developing world to fight rising greenhouse emissions.
The European Parliament Saturday welcomed the Bali roadmap, describing it as "the beginning of a process", which will lead cooperation to, and beyond, 2012, with a global agreement to be reached by 2009.
However, the World Wild Fund for Nature,(WWF), a global environmental conservation organization, said that the Bali Roadmap fell short in its ambition and "weak on substance".
Greenpeace also said the climate agreement has been stripped of the emission reduction targets that science and humanity demands.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report that if left unchecked, the world's average temperature could rise by as much as 6 degrees centigrade by the end of the century, causing serious harm to economies, societies and ecosystem worldwide.
The U.N. climate change conference was attended by more than 11,000 people, making it the largest U. N. climate change meeting ever held.
Next year's Climate Change Conference will be held in Poznan, Poland.