April 16, 2010
This story about the EU 2020 climate targets was published by EurActiv on 16th April 2010.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said the EU has failed to convince the developing world that it is serious about global warming.
Speaking in an unusually candid manner during a European Parliament hearing on Wednesday (14 April), De Boer said the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen last year had been dominated by a sense of “suspicion”.
The December UN conference ended with a loose agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, which left Europeans “disappointed” because it contained no firm commitment from world nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“A lot of the reason why this process has been moving so slowly is because of suspicion, especially on the part of developing counties,” said De Boer, who will step down from the UNFCCC in July to take an advising role at consulting firm KPMG.
“Trust just isn’t there.”
European leaders routinely refer to the EU’s 2020 target to reduce emissions by 20% on 1990 levels as the most ambitious in the world.
But the UN climate chief suggested that the target will in fact be easy to achieve, raising suspicion from developing countries that it is only a smokescreen.
“Many of the discussions that you have in Europe are not terribly private,” he said. “And the rest of the world knows that the European Commission said to EU countries that achieving the minus 20% was a piece of cake and that achieving minus 30% isn’t going to ruin the European economy.”
“So countries in the rest of the world are asking themselves: ‘If that’s true, then why is this minus 30 now being taken off the table?'”
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