The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place from December 1-12, 2008 in Poznan, Poland. Approximately 8,000 representatives from over 190 countries attended. This conference marked the mid-point of the negotiation process of a new international treaty to ensure an international legal regime is in place after the Kyoto Protocol commitment period ends in 2012. The process began in Bali, Indonesia last year and aims to be completed in Copenhagen, Denmark next December.

In addition to the negotiation of a post-2012 regime, the session saw the Adaptation Fund become operational, allowing developing countries access to funds to respond to the effects of climate change already underway. Countries also made progress on a number of issues that are important in the short run, including finance, technology transfer and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Many outstanding issues will need to be addressed in the coming year for an agreement to be completed in Copenhagen. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer likened the negotiations to a marathon, saying the fast running will be done at the end.

For further more information and links to the decisions from the UN Climate Change Conference please see:

http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_14/items/4481.php.

An article by Laura Zizzo is available at

http://www.gowlings.com/resources/publications.asp?pubid=1743, a version of which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Ontario Bar Association Environmental Law Section's Environews newsletter.