Still hope for UN climate change talks, says UK Energy Secretary

Posted at December 4, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Still hope for UN climate change talks, says UK Energy Secretary

Before he headed to Doha, Qatar to join the United Nation climate change negotiations (COP18), UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said there was still reason to be hopeful.

“We have seen serious action by many countries, including some of the big emitters,” he said in a statement. “Legislation is moving forward in the world’s major economies. And there are important changes in the real economy. Global investment in renewables outstripped fossil fuels for the first time last year.”

But he warned that as the situation currently stands, the world is not on track to keep temperature rises to less than 2°C.

“Tackling dangerous climate change is a complex task. But if we act we can still avert climate change’s worst impacts,” he added.

Agreement was reached in Durban to work on a new legally binding global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol and Davey says step-by-step progress is now needed to meet the 2015 deadline.

“[But] I want to see concrete actions to reduce emissions before that, adoption of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with robust accounting and transparency arrangements for those not in Kyoto, and to give developing countries comfort on the continuing provision of finance,” he said.

Davey comments are echoed by conference president Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and executive secretary of the UNFCC Christiana Figueres as the summit enters its second week.

Figueres said the first week had been “very productive” with new text added to the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements.

She defended the slow progress of the negotiations, saying:
“It must be understood that what is happening here … is a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world. That cannot happen overnight.”

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