The UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December this year may not yield a new global climate treaty with every minor detail in place. But hopefully it will close with agreements on four political essentials, thereby creating a clarity the world – not least the financially struck business world – needs.
The wish for clarity is expressed by Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in an interview with Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E). According to Yvo de Boer, the four essentials calling for an international agreement in Copenhagen are:
1. How much are the industrialized countries willing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases?
2. How much are major developing countries such as China and India willing to do to limit the growth of their emissions?
3. How is the help needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change going to be financed?
4. How is that money going to be managed?
“If Copenhagen can deliver on those four points I’d be happy,” says Yvo de Boer.
He sees a need to get something signed and agreed in Copenhagen, but he thinks it will be very difficult to get every final, small detail of a whole new treaty done. The new climate treaty will be replacing the Kyoto Protocol which was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005.
The Kyoto Protocol which sets binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been signed and ratified by 184 parties of the UN Climate Convention. One notable exception is the United States, and Yvo de Boer is “really happy” to see the US back in the international climate change process and that the US is also engaging domestically in the process.