Ban Ki-moon could oversee climate target debate

By John Parnell

The EU has suggested that a UN meeting of world leaders on climate change to be convened next September could host a debate on climate change targets.

In a document submitted to the UN climate agency, the UNFCCC, it called on governments to indicate what form their share of a global 2015 climate treaty could take during the COP19 Warsaw summit in November this year with a 2014 deadline to finalise initial pledges.

These could then be negotiated at Ban Ki-moon’s climate meeting at the UN General Assembly in September 2014.

The US has previously suggested that some countries may not reveal the scale of their commitments prior to the 2015 framework being agreed calling instead for “flexibility” to allow it to be updated accordingly.

The EU plan would build more certainty for nations about what was being promised and accelerate the pledging process.

Ban Ki-moon’s 2014 climate meeting could see world leaders debate their mitigation pledges (Source: Flickr/UNFCCC)

“COP 19 in Warsaw will need to set the path for active preparation for and communication of indicative commitments,” the document reads.

“The Secretary General’s summit of World leaders may provide a good forum to discuss proposals for mitigation commitments by Parties,” it suggests.

Nations agreed to build a new treaty by 2015 that would limit global warming to 2°C or less with all nations making a contribution. The deal would be enforced from 2020.

This is likely to involve developed countries committing to reduce their emissions while developing economies and poor nations may offer to reduce the rate that their emissions grow or offer other voluntary actions.

Negotiators will meet next week for the annual mid-year talks of the UNFCCC. The nature and distribution of commitments, as well as the timeline for their development will feature high on the agenda.

High level

Ban announced the meeting, likely to coincide with the UN General Assembly in 2014, at the Doha climate talks last year.

It would represent the highest level debate on climate change since the failed 2009 Copenhagen summit where world leaders flocked as a global deal began to emerge before it collapsed at the last minute.

“It is a summit where heads of state need to reflect on ambition and what the aggregate result of the negotiations in 2015 should be. They could certainly help in setting the scene,” EU negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger told RTCC.

The new deal must be negotiated through the UNFCCC but a meeting of world leaders presents an opportunity for a more direct debate.

The meeting would also help to build public awareness of climate change and the impending 2015 treaty that could in turn stimulate greater urgency among politicians to agree an ambitious deal.


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