55 nations set carbon goals since Copenhagen

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Fifty-five nations accounting for almost 80 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions have set national goals for fighting climate change by a deadline in the “Copenhagen Accord,” the United Nations said.

“This represents an important invigoration of the UN climate change talks,” Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, said of the varying national promises for curbs on emissions until 2020 submitted by a January 31 deadline.

The countries, including top emitters led by China and the United States, mostly reiterated commitments unveiled before December’s UN summit in Denmark, which disappointed many countries by failing to agree a new binding UN treaty.

It said the pledges covered 55 nations and amounted to 78% of global emissions from energy use.
“Greater ambition is required to meet the scale of the challenge,” de Boer said. “But I see these pledges as clear signals of willingness to move negotiations towards a successful conclusion.”

Mexico will host the next annual UN meeting, in late November and early December, as part of world efforts to avert more droughts, wildfires, floods, species extinctions and rising sea levels.

The Copenhagen Accord seeks to limit a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and sets a goal of $100 billion a year in aid for developing nations from 2020 to help confront climate change.

It left blanks for countries to fill in their climate targets for achieving the 2C goal by January 31. Analysts say current targets are too lax and will mean temperatures rise by more than 2C.

Source: www.reuters.com