Tuesday, 11 August 2009 18:14

UN Urges Strong CO2 Goals before Climate Talks

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A top climate official of the UN believes the global climate talks in Copenhagen later this year will be crippled- if there are no "strong commitments" from developed nations on slashing CO2 emissions by 2020. De BoerYvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told Agence France Presse (AFP) in a phone interview that the absence of such commitments "would defeat the whole purpose of the Copenhagen agreement." The Copenhagen talks are meant to negotiate a new climate treaty to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. A key area of disagreement is between developed and developing countries. Developing countries have asserted the US, Japan, EU and others should be expected to do more than developing countries to halt climate change. Meanwhile, developed countries have contended that developing countries need to make stronger commitments themselves. The UNFCCC has calculated that, by 2020, the cost of mitigating climate change will rise to about $200 billion annually and adapting to it will rise to $100 billion each year. The sooner that countries can arrive at a plan to reduce emissions systemmatically, the quicker the world can act to keep costs from spiraling. Countries, companies, organizations and individuals have the means to take action now, including carbon offsets that can reduce emissions cost effectively. In Congress, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) passed the House but is awaiting Senate consideration. Photo Credit of Yvo de Boer: AFP
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