New texts are under consideration at the landmark climate change conference under way in Copenhagen, Denmark, and while they are a key step forward in the talks, the United Nations today stressed that they do not presuppose either a final outcome or its legal form.
The texts seek to promote discussion on the broader picture of a possible outcome to arise from the gathering in the Danish capital before high-level government officials start arriving as early as tomorrow.
Countries are expected to wrap up negotiations in Copenhagen on an ambitious new climate deal by the end of the two-week summit, which ends next Friday.
Over 34,000 people have registered to take part in the event, which will be attended by some 115 world leaders, including United States President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Negotiators are currently examining the new texts and will decided this evening whether they are a useful basis for their further work.
Considerable progress has been made in areas including technology, adaptation and the prevention of deforestation, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told reporters today.
“It is now also time to begin to focus on the big picture,” he stressed, calling on negotiators to centre on cooperative action, identify what the long-term goal of the current talks is, focus on how finance will be mobilized and concentrate on how industrialized countries’ targets will be captured in a final document.
The texts released today “begin to capture the framework of what could be agreed at the end of this conference, Mr. de Boer said, calling this a “sign of an important step-change in the negotiating process.”
He also welcomed the announcement by leaders of the European Union (EU) to provide €7.2 billion over the next three years to help developing countries take action on climate change.
The amount pledged by the EU is nearly one-third of the $30 billion needed from 2010-2012 to help poorer nations cope with the impacts of global warming and plan for low-emissions growth.
“One of the things that has been holding [the Copenhagen] process back is lack of clarity on how short-term financial support is going to be provided to developing countries and the fact that Europe has now very clearly put a figure on the table will, I think, be a huge encouragement to the process,” the UNFCCC head said.