November 7, 2001 – Friends of the Earth today called on Environment Ministers meeting in Marrakech to adhere to the principles of the Bonn Agreement reached in July’s climate talks – or they will fail to make an impact on dangerous climate change.

Ten days of discussions have seen some progress in the negotiations – with delegations yesterday agreeing a deal on compliance, which preserves the compromise reached in Bonn. But due to pressure from Russia, the compliance proceedings will not be fully transparent with some information remaining confidential.

Ministers must settle key outstanding issues on “sinks”, eligibility to take part in carbon trading mechanisms, and monitoring and verification. Friends of the Earth is calling on EU Ministers to increase pressure on the Russian delegation, who are demanding new concessions. We urge the Japanese Environment Minister Kawaguchi to honour the agreement made in Bonn.

Friends of the Earth welcomed a decision by governments to hold a workshop dedicated to in-depth analysis of the latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, despite obstruction by Saudi Arabia. Such a decision paves the way for more focused science-based round of negotiations in the future.

Kate Hampton, speaking for Friends of the Earth International, said: “Finally we have seen some movement in the climate talks, with last night’s deal on compliance showing that when governments stick to the Bonn accord, they can make significant progress. Ministers must now resist further backtracking by Japan and Russia and work to tie-up the final deal, making time for the crucial discussions on how the fight against climate change will be taken forward at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next year.”

NB. A more detailed analysis is available in a media update.

Kate Hampton (English/French/Spanish): +44 774 896 7323
Helen Burley (press officer) +44 7778 356888