World leaders need to rescue talks from climate of diplomatic pessimism



Posted on 23 October 2009  | 
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Gland, Switzerland - World leaders must respond to an outbreak of diplomatic pessimism on the chances of reaching a legally binding global deal on climate change in Copenhagen this December, WWF said today.

“Talking down your chances is no way to go into a negotiation,” said WWF Global Climate Deal leader Kim Carstensen following repeated comments this week by UN climate chief Yvo de Boer which have been followed by statements from a range of ministers and high-level representatives from industrialized countries.

At the recent UN climate summit just last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon summed up comments from more than 100 Heads of State as “a keen willingness by every leader to contribute to the successful conclusion of negotiations in Copenhagen.

“They also expressed readiness to commit their nations to reach an effective agreement that is fully subscribed to and acted upon, by all,” Ban said.

Carstensen said that at least two thirds of the world’s nations, economies, businesses and new markets were “ready and waiting” for the certainties a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen would bring.

“We have spent almost two years to putting all the building blocks in place to get a groundbreaking outcome of Copenhagen. What we now need is political will and determination, not this puzzling outbreak of diplomatic pussyfooting”, said Carstensen

“It makes no sense to move from the brink of concluding a deal to the brink of a descent into going nowhere.”

Carstensen said that increasingly progressive positions for strong actions in the developing world was putting more pressure on developed nations to enter a legally binding agreement on reducing their emissions and financing low carbon development.

A string of Heads of State meetings over the next month will give leaders the opportunity to repeat their commitment to a global legally binding deal that keeps the world well below the two degree danger level, Carstensen said.

ASEAN leaders are meeting today and over the weekend in Thailand, European leaders meet next week to agree their climate finance position, an APEC meeting is scheduled for Singapore in November and a string of bilateral meetings are also planned.

“There are ample opportunities and an enormous need for leaders to put these negotiations back on track,” said Carstensen.

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