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The climate change negotiations: Berlin and beyond

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The purpose of this article is to provide an overview and analysis of this conference, paying particular attention to both the specific outcomes and the more general emerging trends. Four major areas will be addressed. First, the context of the conference is described and the negotiating positions of the major players identified. Second, the most significant outcomes of the conference are examined, with an emphasis upon the decisions on the "adequacy of commitments" and "joint implementation." The third and fourth sections identify the highly probable and more speculative elements of the future international response to the climate change challenge. The article will conclude with the argument that it is too early to judge the ultimate significance of the Berlin Conference, which will only be determined over the next two years. During this period, we will come to see how the national debates within different countries on the issue of climate change will proceed. This will determine whether the Berlin Conference is ultimately seen as a key turning point in the debate, or simply another international gathering.

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