Christiana Figueres (pictured), who heads UN efforts to prevent global warming, said before yesterday that she expected good progress in the next round of climate talks in Doha, starting in late November. But efforts still fell short of what is needed to keep global temperatures from rising no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, she told reporters in Washington.
At the November 26-December 7 Doha meetings, climate negotiators are to decide how long the expiring Kyoto Protocol, which ends in December, is to be extended. The extension period could be five to eight years.
That extension is to serve as a bridge until a broader legally binding agreement is in place in 2015 with the full support of all countries, including foot-draggers like the US and China. That broader agreement is intended to be fully implemented by 2020.
“Governments are walking down the right path,” said Figueres, who heads the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the umbrella agency for Kyoto and other climate agreements. “So there’s good progress, but not enough … We need further ambition … and higher speed,” she said.
Figueres was attending the Carbon Forum North America, a conference that this year focuses on emissions trading systems to be implemented in individual US states. California in November will be the first in the US to start selling emission credits.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s chief negotiator has said that major emerging economies’ obligations to cut emissions under a climate change agreement should not be the same as those of rich countries, signalling a retreat to an old position that has hamstrung years of UN negotiations.
Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado told Reuters that Brazil was committed to working toward a global pact to cut emissions in both developed and developing nations as agreed at last year’s climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
source: DPA, Reuters
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