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May 26, 2009

UNFCCC chief stresses importance of Copenhagen climate change pact

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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretary general Yvo de Boer on Tuesday said that failure to reach agreement on climate change policy at the Copenhagen summit in December would result in future generations living in a world that was “extremely turbulent and unstable”.

Speaking at the yearly World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) conference in Copenhagen, De Boer said that “the key to a successful global climate deal lies in setting clear greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, in order to mitigate the worst effects of global warming and fair governance”.

“But above all,” he added, “the deal will stand or fall on agreeing the right financial package.”

De Boer stressed that much work still needs to be done between now and December 7, when the critical climate change negotiations would start in the Danish capital.

He further stressed the need for clarity on four “political prerequisites” for a successful outcome: specific mid-term targets for industrialised countries; action by developing countries to mitigate against and adapt to the worst effects of climate change; identifying where the money and technologies are going to come from to realise those actions; and a fair system of allocating and managing the funds required for developing countries to take action.

“WWF has an important contribution to make in ensuring that people are aware of these issues,” De Boer added. “People need to know that if Copenhagen doesn’t result in an ambitious deal, they will be committing their children and grandchildren to a world that is extremely turbulent and unstable.”

WWF International DG James Leape emphasised the need for a fair, fast and effective global deal on climate change. “Earth Hour proved that the world expects an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen.”

“We have the technology and science to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, and we can afford it. What we need now is the political leadership to make it happen,” he reiterated.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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