Officials from 190 countries have assembled in Bonn to try to come to an agreement, ahead of December's climate summit in Copenhagen.
Presenter: Adam Connors
Speaker: Ivo De Boer is the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Makio Miyagawa, Deputy Director-General for Global Issues in Japan's foreign ministry; Kim Carstensen, the leader of the WWF Global Climate Initiative
CONNORS: For years there's been talk of climate change deadlines. Countdowns to melted glaciers, rising sea levels, and spreading deserts. Now human kind is imposing a deadline on itself for December in Copenhagen. Ivo De Boer is the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
DE BoeR: Yes, time is running out. We have an enormous amount of ground to cover and in that sense this session is really important.
CONNORS: The clock is literally ticking at this huge post-Kyoto, pre-Copenhagen meeting being sponsored by the United Nations.
DE BoeR: As you know, we have just 115 days left until Copenhagen, about five weeks of negotiating time.
CONNORS: In a positive sign for stonger negotiations in Copenhagen among developed countries, the world's second-largest economy, Japan, is throwing its weight behind stricter emissions controls.
Makio Miyagawa is Japan's Deputy Director-General for Global Issues in its foreign ministry.
MIYAGAWA: The Kyoto framework simply covers 30 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, but we would like to cover one hundred per cent.
CONNORS: But to achieve that, emissions from China and India will have to be included and there are deep disagreements between the developing world and the West over who should pay for changes. To underline what's at stake, the Worldwide Fund For Nature has released a new report collating details of the 350 newly-discovered species in the eastern Himalayas. They may be new to our knowledge, but Kim Carstensen, the leader of the WWF Global Climate Initiative says they're now under threat from global warming.
CARSTENSEN: Politically, what I think is really important is to translate what was agreed at the G8 meeting at the major economies forum in terms of a minus 80 per cent reduction in developed countries by 2050.
CONNORS: Before anything can be agreed upon, the 2,000 delegates in Bonn will have to cut a 200-page draft agreement down by three quarters. It's no simple negotiation.