Tech leap in Copenhagen talks

Friday, December 11, 2009

Denmark - Negotiators at the historic United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, are making good progress in the area of technology.

"I sense there is a real seriousness now to negotiate," Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said on Thursdayl.

Nations are expected to wrap up talks on a new agreement during the two-week gathering.

He told reporters that he sees an "emerging" agreement, with countries wanting to see a new technical mechanism, including an executive body overseeing technological development and transfer, result from the conference.

De Boer said there was a growing consensus to set up a consultative network for climate technologies which would support developing nations' efforts to take action on both adaptation and mitigation.

He also stressed that the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period expires in 2012, must remain in force.

It took eight years from the time the instrument was ratified to when it entered into force. Even if an agreement is reached in Copenhagen, "you can't guarantee how quickly it will enter into force and I think it's important to avoid a gap," De Boer said.

Also, as many developing nations have pointed out, he said, the Protocol is the only legally binding instrument currently in force on climate change.

"There is no good reason at this moment to abandon it. What there is good reason for is to come to a new process under the convention that engages the United States and allows for broader participation of developing countries and that really stimulates action now up to 2012 and beyond."