Published October 15, 2008 09:30 AM

Environment officials meet in Warsaw to address climate change

WARSAW, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Environment ministers and officials from more than 30 countries held an informal meeting in the Polish capital this week to prepare for a major UN climate conference.

    Progress in battling climate change, long-term climate strategies and the impact of the current economic crisis on climate protection were among the themes of the meeting organized in preparation for the forthcoming climate summit in Poland, Polish news agency PAP reported on Tuesday.

    Poland is preparing to host the UN climate summit in December in the city of Poznan that aims to work out a climate change accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

    Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki said the current financial crisis would not affect climate protection. "Sometimes it's easier to launch cost-saving measures in a crisis than when everything's going well with the economy," Nowicki noted.

    He added that the two days of informal meetings that started Monday also focused on the expected results of the Poznan conference.

    UN Climate Convention secretary Yvo de Boer said the Warsaw meeting "is not intended to get into the substance itself, and can't replace a full meeting where everybody is present and able to participate, but it can give us a sense of direction of what's achievable."

    De Boer also reminded that the Poznan conference will start off negotiations aimed towards the signature in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, of a climate agreement extending the Kyoto Protocol.  

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