EU unsure of binding climate change treaty in Mexico

April 9th, 2010 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard Friday said Europe would like a legal binding treaty on reduction of carbon emission during talks in Mexico later this year, but recognises differing stances may delay an agreement until 2011.
“The EU would be ready to reach a legally binding global deal at the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year. But signals coming out of big emitters unfortunately do not seem to make that likely,” Hedegaard told reporters here.

She said that climate change can be controlled only if all major emitters take action and the EU is committed to it.

“In Copenhagen, the world had a unique chance and did not use this to its full. Although the most important outcome was that the US and four major developing economies - Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) - committed to reduce their carbon emissions,” said the Danish leader, who took over the job in February 2010.

“We now have to secure the momentum and do our utmost to get specific and substantial results out of Cancun this year. And to secure a legally binding treaty in climate change talks at South Africa in 2011,” she added.

Hedegaard, who was on three-day visit to India, held talks with Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on steps taken by the country to mitigate impacts of climate change.

The EU wants that the international negotiations must ensure the future global agreement will have a high level of integrity and will actually keep warming below two degrees.

It also wants the developed countries to provide some part of the $30 billion aid pledged for the period 2010-2012 before meeting in Mexico.

The Kyoto Protocol is the only legal treaty that obliges developed countries to reduce their emissions and it ends by 2012.

Hedegaard called for the need to make the UN system more flexible for securing results in climate change talks.

“The UN should try to mobilise political leaders to stop spending more time on process and procedures but open to negotiations,” she said.

“The Kyoto Protocol remains the central building block on the UN process but the limited number of countries it cover, an its serious weaknesses, must be addressed,” she added.

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