De Boer confirms plan to integrate Copenhagen Accord in UN climate text

Outgoing head of UN’s climate secretariat outlines agenda for crucial Bonn climate meeting

James Murray, BusinessGreen, 26 May 2010

Outgoing UN climate change chief Yvo de Boer yesterday confirmed that the extent to which parts of the Copenhagen Accord should be included in the formal UN negotiating process would form a central part of the agenda at the climate talks in Bonn next month.

The latest summit, which will run from Monday 31 May to Wednesday 9 June, represents the first major UN climate meeting since the end of the Copenhagen summit and observers have warned that significant progress is required if there is to be any chance of delivering a draft international deal at the Cancun summit in November.

Speaking yesterday, de Boer, who will step down after the Bonn meeting to be replaced by Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres, said the chair of the Long Term Co-operative Action (LCA) UN working group would table a “new text that integrates parts of the Copenhagen Accord”, adding that the meeting could ” significantly enhance that text”.

The status of the Copenhagen Accord has been one of the main sticking points for the long-running negotiations since the end of the Copenhagen summit, with richer nations arguing that it provides a better framework for a binding deal than the existing Kyoto Protocol and poorer nations warning that any move away from the Kyoto Framework risks resulting in a weaker agreement.

De Boer said governments needed to “act now to develop greater clarity on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, since this cannot be left unattended until Cancun “.

He reiterated his view that Cancun could deliver meaningful progress towards a binding international treaty, but only if rich nations provide evidence that they are making good on their commitment to provide $30bn (£21bn) of fast-track climate funding to poorer nations, and all countries deliver progress on emissions targets and the mechanisms for ensuring they are met.

He also warned that the Copenhagen Accord “set a political intent to keep temperature rises below two degrees Centigrade, yet existing industrial country pledges to cut emissions will not meet this goal”.

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