World Urgently Needs Post-Kyoto Climate Deal-UN Says
AMSTERDAM -- The world urgently needs a long-term post-Kyoto agreement to fight global warming to provide security for investors and raise more funding, the U.N. top climate official said on Tuesday.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told a conference in Amsterdam that governments had so far failed to generate enough funding to tackle climate change, especially in poor countries.
"To guarantee continuity for investments, a post 2012 agreement is urgently needed," de Boer said.
"At present, the financial resources provided to developing countries do not suffice to meet the needs for mitigation and adaptation as required by ... the Kyoto protocol".
Many environmentalists, and some governments, want a new pact on cutting greenhouse emissions agreed by 2008 to give businesses and investors time to adapt to new rules after the U.N. Kyoto Protocol's first period ends in 2012.
De Boer said he pinned high hopes on the German presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised countries in 2007 to allow post-Kyoto talks to begin.
"I believe that 2007 is the critical year when we have to begin to move forward," he said.
Business officials told the conference they needed long-term, stable regulations to invest in new clean energy technologies and develop the emissions trading market further.
"There has to be a value for the carbon beyond 2012 in order to drive the changes necessary ... The time to act is now," said Graeme Sweeney, Executive Vice President Renewables, Hydrogen and CO2 at oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.
World Bank Chief Scientist Robert Watson said commitment from the private sector was rising with some of the world's most powerful companies agreeing to voluntarily cut pollution.
But he added the world needed to bring major polluters, including the United States and developing countries, under a long-term regulatory framework beyond 2012.
U.S. President George W. Bush pulled out of Kyoto in 2001 on the grounds the U.S. economy would be damaged by its caps on emissions of greenhouse gases.
He said Kyoto wrongly excluded developing nations and has instead stressed big investments in new technologies, such as non-polluting hydrogen or filtering greenhouse gases from the emissions of coal-burning power plants.
Kyoto obliges 35 developed nations to cut emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 as a first step towards curbing warming that many scientists say will cause more heatwaves, desertification, erosion and rising sea levels.
Environment ministers from around the world will meet in Nairobi from Nov. 6-17 for talks on widening the pact.