‘Midnight sun’ summit calls for post-Kyoto road map

Delegates from 28 countries called Thursday for the creation of a "road map" at a climate summit in December to chart the future following the expiration of the 1997 Kyoto agreement.

Negotiations will resume on the Indonesian island of Bali in December.

“There was a broad consensus that the Bali conference should establish a road map with both a timetable and concrete steps for the negotiations with a view to reach an agreement by 2009,” said Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren at the end of the meeting.

Environment ministers or their representatives from 28 countries attended the informal ministerial four-day “Midnight Sun” dialogue at Riksgränsen in northern Sweden.

Countries represented included Britain, China, France, Germany, India and the United States.

Talks begin in Bali in December on the follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol which is the only international treaty on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and expires in 2012.

The meeting “really led to some important progress in the preparation for Bali. We think we had the possibility (…) to establish a platform for negotiations,” Carlgren told reporters.

Before the meeting it was made clear that the aim was to exchange points of view on ways to combat global warning frankly and without the need to produce a final statement.

“Several countries, particularly in the developing world, are already suffering and we should take care that they are given the best assistance from the rest of the world,” said Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar at the same news conference.

It was essential that carbon dioxide emissions by industrialized countries be cut.

“It is necessary to help the people who are not responsible for the consequences of climate change, for climate change and for the emissions, to adapt to the consequences,” said German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

“Today we have more refugees as a consequence of climate change than from civil wars in Africa,” he said.

“What we now see, after (the recent G8 summit in) Heiligendamm (in Germany), after the remarkable change of the position of the United States, after the announcement of China, we see there is progress.”

The Riksgränsen meeting was the third of its kind, following earlier gatherings in Greenland in 2005 and South Africa in 2006. The next is due to take place in Argentina in 2008.