January 19, 2010

IPCC: Climate Change Agreement May Be In Sight

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Tuesday that countries could reach a binding agreement on climate change in Mexico City this year after failing to do so in Copenhagen.

"I think we have a very short period of time in which the world has to get its act together. And if that happens, then certainly Mexico could produce a binding agreement," Rajendra Pachauri told a news conference at the third World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

"It's a daunting, but certainly a doable, prospect," he said, referring to the next summit, planned for later this year in the Mexican capital.

Last month, the Copenhagen talks ended with a non-binding agreement to reduce rises in global temperatures, a result that has been criticized as insufficient.

However, if countries are to reach a binding agreement in Mexico City, "there are a few critical factors which would need a superhuman effort," Pachauri said.

"One of them is commitment from the US," he said.

He said countries would also need to take steps like agreeing on an institutional framework by which funding for developing nations to address climate change could be effectively utilized.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said a binding agreement in Mexico City is within reach.

"I agree with (Pachauri). It's doable, but I would add, it's hard. And we have to build on every positive experience with Copenhagen and we have to do everything to limit the negative experiences from Copenhagen," Store told AFP on the sidelines of the summit.

He also said the challenges posed by climate change would not resolve soon.

"We who are policymakers will deal with climate change every day for the rest of our political lives," he said. "We have to stop thinking that this is something we solve at the next conference, It's part of an ongoing process."


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