The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal concluded today with the adoption of more than forty decisions that will strengthen global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Efforts were focused on the future of the Convention's legally binding Kyoto Protocol, which does not cover the period beyond 2012. The Conference created a new working group that will start talks next May on future commitments for developed countries. Calling the Montreal gathering "one of the most productive UN Climate Change Conferences ever,"

Richard Kinley, acting head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, said: "Our success in implementing the Kyoto Protocol, improving the Convention and Kyoto, and innovating for tomorrow led to an agreement on a variety of issues. This plan sets the course for future action on climate change."

Conference President Canadian Environment Minister Stéphane Dion said parties to the Convention "have moved forward work on adaptation and advanced the implementation of the regular work programme of the Convention and of the Protocol." During the first week of the Conference, the rulebook of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol was adopted. Richard Kinley called this "an historic step" which had set the framework for implementation of the Protocol.

"There is now certainty for a sustained and effective global carbon market. One of the main successes was the strengthening of the clean development mechanism. Under this unique mechanism, developed countries can invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries, helping the developing nations to improve the quality of life for their citizens while also allowing developed nations to earn emission allowances," he said.

In Montreal, developed countries committed themselves to fund the operation of the clean development mechanism with over $13 million in 2006-2007. The process for methodologies under the clean development mechanism was simplified and In addition to this, a second Kyoto mechanism -- called Joint Implementation - was launched. Its governing body was set up. Joint Implementation allows developed countries to invest in other developed countries, in particular central and eastern European transition economies, and thereby earn carbon allowances which they can use to meet their emission reduction commitments. A major breakthrough was the agreement on the compliance regime for the Kyoto Protocol.

The compliance committee with its enforcement and facilitative branches was elected. This decision is key to ensure that the Parties to the Protocol have a clear accountability regime in meeting their emission reductions targets. Participants also adopted a five-year work programme paving the way for concrete steps to identify impacts and measures to adapt to climate change. In addition, agreement was reached on promoting the development and transfer of technologies.