In this issue of Tiempo we present a number of articles that focus on issues under negotiation and discussion at the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in November 1998.
Our main feature article by Daniel Kammen and Ann Kinzig discusses the development of a series of scenarios for national greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The authors argue that, in the long term, global equity in emission rights per person is not only ethically the most reasonable basis for reductions trajectories but is also the least cumbersome basis for an international agreement.
Still on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, we feature the second part of an assessment of the Clean Development Mechanism by Julia Curtis and Malik Amin Aslam. In Issue 28, the background to this new concept was presented. Here, potential benefits and issues to be resolved in implementing this mechanism are discussed in more detail.
In his forum contribution, David Hall argues that the Kyoto Protocol appears to focus on biomass only as a means of sequestering carbon. He outlines how biomass can act not only as a carbon sink but also as an energy source displacing fossil fuels.
Finally, as a context for the Fourth Conference of the Parties, we present a number of comments from a recently-published book compiled by Azza Taalab. The book records the activities and roles of participating NGOs at the Third Conference of the Parties and includes position statements and declarations from the different NGO constituencies.