UN climate chief spurs talks on new global warming pact
UN climate chief Yvo de Boer called on industrialised countries Friday to start showing some of their cards in a poker game whose prize will be a new pact to tackle global warming.
De Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said talks unfolding among senior officials here marked "the first time that people are getting down to serious negotiations" for a historic deal in Copenhagen in December 2009.
But, he warned, many positions had so far been "incredibly generic" and this problem of vagueness was especially worrying among industrialised countries.
The June 3-13 Bonn talks should issue "a very clear call on governments to start submitting their ideas on what should be the key elements of a Copenhagen outcome," said de Boer.
He warned: "Politically, if Copenhagen fails we would be in huge trouble. I think that people would then begin to question the utility of this process."
Last December, parties to the UNFCCC set down a "Bali Roadmap" of talks designed to climax in the most ambitious and complex environmental treaty ever attempted.
The post-2012 pact would succeed the current pledges made under the UNFCCC's cornerstone accord, the Kyoto Protocol.
It would commit countries to deeper curbs on the heat-trapping gases that are driving climate change.
And it would beef up the transfer of clean technology to poorer economies and strengthen financial support for those countries most at risk from water stress, rising sea levels and other damage.