17 of the world’s largest emitters meet in Rome for informal climate talks that aim to progress issues and momentum for the formal UNFCCC negotiations.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, joined other Ministers from developed and developing countries to informally discuss some of the key issues under negotiation of a global climate agreement, particularly monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and mitigation. The MEF takes place after the June UNFCCC intersessional where, despite increasingly collaborative atmosphere, country positions on both MRV and mitigation was reported to remain a dominant theme. The MEF also included discussions on adaptation and finance.
The Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo told the Associated Press that MRV was a key issue in unlocking the negotiations, stating that progress on MRV 'may look like a detail but it carries enormous value ahead of Cancun.'
The MEF was launched in March 2009 by the US. The Rome meeting is the seventh meeting – and the second since Copenhagen – and is co-chaired by the US and Italy.
Participants in the MEF its includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany , India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK and US. Developing countries also participate as observers, a move first seen at the US / UK co-hosted MEF in September 2009.