United Nations

Bulk of emitters submit climate pledges to UN convention


Source: United Nations

Some of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide have formally submitted to the United Nations their national targets to cut and limit greenhouse gases by 2020 – abiding by the 31 January deadline specified in the Copenhagen Accord produced at December’s UN summit in Denmark.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said that by the deadline it had received specific pledges from 55 countries that together account for 78 per cent of global emissions from energy use.

“This represents an important invigoration of the UN climate change talks under the two tracks of Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The commitment to confront climate change at the highest level is beyond doubt,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said in a statement.

The countries that signed on to the Copenhagen Accord include the United States and China, the two largest emitters, along with the European Union, (EU) Australia, India and Japan.

The pledges are purely voluntary and there are no enforcement provisions for the signing countries.

“Greater ambition is required to meet the scale of the challenge. But I see these pledges as clear signals of willingness to move negotiations towards a successful conclusion,” said Mr. de Boer.

The sixteenth conference of parties to UNFCCC is scheduled for 29 November in Mexico City. The next round of formal negotiations is scheduled to be in Bonn, Germany, at the end of May.

Several countries have indicated their wish to see a quick return to the negotiations with more meetings than the scheduled sessions.

“We are seeking further guidance from governments,” said Mr. de Boer.

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