UN publishes results of two years of climate talks

The official outcome of two years of climate negotiations was released at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen today.

The results of discussions in two parallel negotiating tracks showed some progress on the detail but left all the big questions unanswered, including what legal form the agreement in Copenhagen will take, the scale of the climate finance package, and the level of rich country emissions reductions.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director for Oxfam International said: “Like builders trying to construct a house before fixing the foundations, negotiators have spent two years attempting to piece together a deal without any political agreement on the big issues.

Heads of State now need to make the decisions they have shied away from for over two years. They must deliver a deal which guarantees sharp emissions reductions and at least $200bn in new money to help poor countries tackle climate change.

“A deal can be done. It is in no-one’s interests to leave Copenhagen with a set of empty promises, least of all the politicians who will try to claim success. The buck stops here.”

Some of the key gaps include:

  • The scale of emissions reductions for Annex 1 countries is creeping up towards 25% however the proposals are riddled with loopholes and hot air. A real reduction of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 is needed;
  • The starter funding offers of around $10 billion per year are a fraction of the most credible estimates of $100 billion for adaptation and $100 billion for mitigation by developing countries. A rapid scale up of funding to $200 billion per year by 2020 is the political decision that is needed;
  • Weaker systems of review and verification have been proposed but they do not provide the assurances that are needed. A strong system of compliance within a legally binding treaty structure is the political decision that is needed.


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