Copenhagen Group Releases Draft Climate Plan Summary

World | December 11, 2009, Friday // 19:53
Bulgaria: Copenhagen Group Releases Draft Climate Plan Summary Police block a street in Copenhagen during a demonstration by activists of the 'Our Climate - Not Your Business' group in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 December 2009. Protests continued on the 5th day of the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference. Photo by EPA/BG

Michael Zammit Cutajar, chair of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, has edited a 180-page negotiation document to provide a six-page summary guide.

The brief text outlines the critical questions that need to be resolved before the talks end on December 18.

The new document leaves multiple options on the table for each key issue, and establishes the parameters for what both industrialized and major developing countries could do to address climate change.

It further outlines the ways richer nations could finance climate actions by poorer ones.

The Cutajar draft stipulates that the world should seek to keep global temperatures from rising beyond a ceiling of either 1,5ºC or 2,0ºC above pre-industrial levels.

It offers several possible targets developed countries could use for cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 1990 levels: by a range of 25% - 40%; by 30%; by 40%; or by 45%.

The draft also says that major developing countries should cut their carbon output by 15% - 30%in the same period, compared to present levels.

The current climate targets outlined by both industrialized and major emerging economies fall short of those goals.

The draft also calls on rich nations to provide fast-start funding over the next three years for developing countries to cope with climate change.

For days, negotiators have struggled with a sprawling text that has provided little guidance for delegates as they attempted to work out their differences.

Artur Runge-Metzger, who heads international climate negotiations on behalf of the European Commission, said in an interview just before the draft was issued that it would show "where the compromise can lie" in the talks.

Jake Schmidt, who directs international climate policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the new proposal is "focused, it's short and it targets the key decisions that key governments will have to decide."

Now a whole new round of lobbying will begin: the conference's Danish host may unveil their own revised proposal on Saturday.

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Tags: Michael Zammit Cutajar, UN Climate Change conference, Copenhagen Summit, Washington Post

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