Expectations for this year's climate summit in Bonn were subdued. The pace of climate diplomacy had considerably slowed down since the historic deal at Kyoto in 1997. The Protocol agreed there set legally binding emissions targets for greenhouse gases for industrialised countries in the period 2008 to 2012. It defined the principles of a number of innovative flexible instruments - joint emission targets, emissions reduction projects with other industrialised countries ('joint implementation') and developing countries (through a 'clean development mechanism' (CDM)) and emissions trading between industrialised countries. These instruments, if applied on a large scale, will substantially reduce the costs of reaching the targets. However, Kyoto had only set up the framework; substantial work on the details of the agreement remained to be done.
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