No climate deal in 2010, UN official says
By Juliet Eilperin
The United Nation's top climate official said Wednesday he did not expect negotiators to produce a binding climate treaty by the end of the year, but added he hoped the world's nations would be able to make enough concrete commitments to lay the foundation for a global pact at the end of 2011.
Negotiators will have to identify key details such as long-term financing and specific emissions reductions before "countries will be willing to say, 'O.K., let's turn this into a treaty,'" said Yvo de Boer, executive director for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
De Boer said that he did not see the political agreement brokered by the U.S. and major developing countries during December's talks, known as the Copenhagen Accord, as the main vehicle for negotiations moving forward.
"I don't think the Copenhagen Accord will become the new legal framework," said de Boer, who will step down on July 1. He added most countries saw the pact as a way "to reinvigorate the formal negotiations" under the U.N. process.
The fact that the nations of the world will delay the conclusion of a climate treaty for yet another year, he said, means that "the window of opportunity to get climate change under control... is rapidly closing."
Wednesday marks the deadline for applicants for de Boer's post. When asked what advice he has for his successor, the understated Dutchman -- who has labored at his unenviable task for more than three and-a-half years, provided a very diplomatic answer.
"My advice to my successor to be open and attuned to the different interests and concerns that have to be fully understood if we're going to achieve a success at the end of this," he said.
Juliet Eilperin| March 31, 2010; 2:02 PM ET Save & Share:
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