News from the United Nations Climate Change Conference - Nairobi 2006

Today, 15th November 2006, saw the start of the High Level Sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change Meeting, on the outskirts of Nairobi. Secretary General Kofi Annan was at hand for the opening ceremony and addressed the meeting on the importance of cooperation in dealing with the climate change challenge.


Most of the delegates had to watch the speeches of the opening ceremony on monitors outside the plenary room, as this was filled to the overflowing.

The morning session also included a Workshop entitled "Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention (Decision 1 of COP 11)".

Sir Nicholas Stern, adviser to the British Government and author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate, addressed the assembly, and answered questions on the Review and on the presentation he gave of it. In short, the Review makes the case that it will be far less costly to act now to keep emissions at a level where stabilisation in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 levels off at between 450ppm and 550 ppm, (it will be too difficult to dip below stabilisation at 450ppm today, and too dangerous, in terms of consequences to wait until levels exceed 550ppm.) Some countries, members of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) expressed concern, while Mr Milliband, the UK Minister with the Environment Portfolio, asked how the report could be extended to look at the effect on countries individually, particularly developing Countries.

This was followed by a presentation by Ms Catherine Sierra of the World Bank, who spoke about the costs of adaptation through the provision of energy solutions.

She mentioned by 2030, there would be 1.4 billion people around the world still living without modern elec tricity supply, and an important investment would be required to meet this gap.