2015 climate deal deadline ‘realistic’
A proposal by Norway and Australia to finalise a new international climate framework by 2015 has been welcomed by market participants as a “realistic” proposal.
“People have to be realistic,” said Martijn Wilder, a Sydney-based partner with law firm Baker & McKenzie. “It’s a recognition that we’re not going to get there in Durban,” he added, referring to this year’s UN climate conference that starts on 28 November.
Russel Mills, global director of energy and climate change for Dow Chemical in Switzerland, said: “It probably does make sense to take a bit more time ... we need something radically different from the Kyoto Protocol that will bring all the major players in.”
The proposal, submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat ahead of talks in Panama early next month, maps out a timetable of what needs to be agreed and by when, starting with the negotiations in South Africa this year and culminating in 2015, when a legally-binding framework could be adopted.
This proposal differs from the 2007 Bali Action Plan in that it specifies that a legally-binding agreement should be the outcome, said Jennifer Morgan, director of the climate and energy programme at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. “It’s the first formal proposal with this type of a mandate to lead to a legally-binding instrument,” she said. “It’s a very important proposal – certainly it is a challenging one but it does certainly frame the Durban meeting in a new light.”
“There are a number of parties that would like to have a legally-binding agreement right away,” Morgan added. “But it’s good to have a vision on the table,” since that is unachievable.
Both Mills and Wilder noted that more countries, such as Korea, China and Australia, should have domestic emissions trading programmes in place by 2015, which could aid the international talks.
“It’s very important to have a target,” said Wilder. “But at the same time, the more domestic action there is, the easier it will be to reach an international agreement.”
However, he added: “At the end of the day, it’s very important to have a timetable, but you have to have the political will to meet it.”