2020 Climate Deadline Is the Crucial “Litmus Test”

Chile—The fury of Chaitén volcano - nat geo

The atmosphere and the climate is a public good, a commons, and can’t be protected by the private sector.”

— Marianne Haug, Oxford Institute for Energy

By Stephen Leahy

VIENNA, Jun 29 2009 (IPS)

“So who here thinks there will be a meaningful deal in Copenhagen?”

Few of the more than 600 energy ministers, officials and experts from 80 countries attending the Vienna Energy Conference raised their hands in response to the conference moderator’s question about the final round of climate negotiations this December in Copenhagen.

“I don’t think there will be agreement on an emissions cap,” said Andre Amado, Brazil’s vice-minister for energy, science and technology.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels must peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline to prevent dangerous, irreversible climate change, scientists have warned. A strong international agreement on emissions targets for both the industrialised and developing world is widely believed to be the only way to ensure emissions peak and then decline.

“There will be agreement on technology transfer and reducing barriers for technology transfers,” to assist developing countries in cutting their emissions and adapting to the changing climate, Amado told participants last week in Austria’s capital city.

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