New climate deal on the cards

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Denmark - The United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, has entered the drafting phase towards reaching a final agreement.

The two-week summit in the Danish capital entered its fourth day on Wednesday, and negotiators have only a few days to wrap up their work before the start of the high-level segments next week, which will draw government ministers and Heads of State.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has noted an eagerness among the parties to the talks to sit down and complete as much work as possible before the arrival of high-level government officials next week.

Responding to reporters' questions yesterday, Yvo de Boer, the UNFCCC's Executive Secretary, underscored that the issue of finance must be resolved, both in the short- and longer-term.

"I hope indeed that this conference can even decide what mechanism will be put in place, first of all, to mobilise those financial resources, and secondly to spend them once they've been mobilised in a way that countries see as being equitable," he said.

More than 100 Heads of State and Government, such as United States President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, are set to take part in the event.

The Copenhagen event is the largest ever on climate change, where nations are expected to wrap up an agreement on an ambitious new climate change deal.

Over 34 000 people - mostly from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - have registered to attend the conference, but the Bella Centre in which it is taking place can only hold 15 000.

This is "clearly a testimony to the great interest generated" by the summit, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.

A system has been set up to allow NGO delegates into the building based on a quota system.

Meanwhile, 7 000 kilometres of cable, long enough to stretch from Copenhagen to Prague, have been laid at the Bella Centre.

Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasised that the outcome of Copenhagen gathering will have reverberations for the future of humanity and the planet.

"We've come a long way in just two years' time, but what we do now over the next two weeks (in Copenhagen) will determine how we fare," he told reporters in New York.

Ban expressed optimism that an immediately effective "robust" agreement, which will include specific recommendations on mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology, will be reached.

"Copenhagen can and must be a turning point in the world's efforts to prevent runaway climate change," he said.