UN official hopeful about 2015 climate talks

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Governments are more serious and the impact of climate change is more dramatic, improving chances of a groundbreaking global warming pact in 2015 in contrast with the failure of such an effort in 2009, the U.N. climate chief said Tuesday.

The climate change talks in Copenhagen were a resounding failure, setting back the movement to control global warming. Even so, the U.N. official, Christiana Figueres, is optimistic, though she admits the world needs to step up its efforts to meet its goals.

A conference is set for Bonn next week, one of a series of meetings leading up to the next major climate convention in 2015.

Briefing reporters by teleconference from Washington Tuesday, Figueres complained that no country is doing enough now, and the “scale and speed” of efforts must be intensified to ensure the world can keep temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), compared to pre-industrial times. Experts believe meeting that target would help ensure that the worst effects of climate change can be averted.

“What is very different is that we all went to 2009 having made our own decision that governments had to come to an agreement. But there was actually no commitment of governments to come to an agreement,” said Figueres, who was appointed in 2010 after serving as member of Costa Rica’s negotiating team.

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