Top UN official welcomes European Union climate change deal

12 December 2008
Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The top United Nations climate change official has welcomed a plan agreed by European Union leaders to fight global warming, which was announced today as international negotiations led by the world body toward a new agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions wrapped up in Poznan, Poland.

“This is a sign of developed countries’ resolve and courage that the world has been waiting for in Poznan,” said Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Poznan conference marks the half-way point in efforts to reach agreement on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, the legally binding regime for reducing emissions whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

The EU plan, reached in Brussels, reportedly elaborates how the group’s 27 member countries will cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

The deal “shows the world that ambitious emission reduction goals by 2020 are in line with moving economic recovery in a green direction,” Mr. de Boer said, adding that “this will contribute to propelling the world towards a strong, ambitious and ratifiable outcome in Copenhagen in 2009.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the Poznan gathering yesterday, calling for renewed global solidarity to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and the financial crisis. He told the high level officials from nearly all UN Member States that the world cannot afford to let economic woes hinder progress on “the defining challenge of our era.”


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