UN climate change chief confident of Copenhagen outcome

Updated - November 17, 2021 06:39 am IST

Published - November 20, 2009 03:23 pm IST - United Nations

A file picture of UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer.

A file picture of UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer.

Ahead of the Copenhagen summit next month, the United Nations Climate Chief Yvo de Boer on Friday said that all the countries have to increase focus on their emission targets, including the United States.

Mr. Boer, who is director of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) pointed out to developing countries like India, China, South Africa and Mexico that have national climate change strategies in place and urged Washington to come up with concrete emission reduction targets.

“The list of what is on the table is rather long,” he said. “We now have offers of targets from all industrialized countries with the exception of the United States.”

Russia and Europe had offered to increase its targets, he said, adding that Brazil and South Korea had committed to making ambitious cuts.

He dismissed reports that doubted the success of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

“I have some recent reports that Copenhagen has failed even before it starts and I must say those reports are simply wrong,” Mr. Boer said.

Mr. Boer expressed confidence that the negotiations in the Copenhagen meet would lead to important political commitments, which would be translated into a treaty within six months.

Around 192 countries are scheduled to meet in the Danish capital to chart out a climate treaty succeeding the Kyoto Protocol since the first commitment period under this treaty ends in 2012.

The countries are expected to agree on four essential elements — ambitious emission reduction targets for industrialized countries, nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries, and financial and technological resources for developing countries to adapt and achieve clean economic growth.

The Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997 legally binds 37 industrialized nations to cut emissions by an average of 5 per cent, against 1990 levels, over the period from 2008-2012.

UN scientists have underlined the need for aggregate emission reduction by industrialized countries of between minus 25 per cent and 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2020 with global emissions falling at least 50 per cent by 2050.

Mr. Boer also called for clarity on short and long term finance to support developing countries on both mitigation and adaptation, which includes putting economies on a clean growth path, transferring clean technologies to markets and preserving forests.

“Rich countries must put 10 billion on the table in the Copenhagen to kick start immediate action,” he said.

“The developing world quite honestly does not trust the existing multilateral financial structure that was put in place after World War II because it does not reflect the political and economic realities of today,” he said.

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