Copenhagen Climate Accord Faces Risks

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) — Agreements reached at the Copenhagen climate change summit may fail if countries drag their feet on initial implementation steps, a U.N. official says.

The top U.N. climate official said major countries have not submitted plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions despite an approaching Jan. 31 deadline, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Such plans were a major provision of the agreement, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said.

The panel organized the December meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Representatives from 190 nations issued a three-page Copenhagen Accord setting climate-related goals for developed and developing countries but the document lacks enforceable targets or timetables, the Times said.

Fewer than two dozen countries have submitted letters agreeing to the terms of the tentative and non-binding accord, de Boer said, and there was failure to secure even the minimum expectation of setting a firm date for negotiations on a binding international climate change treaty.

After a contentious month of blame and counter-blame over the outcome, the next weeks should be used as a “cooling-off period that gives countries useful time to work with each other,” de Boer said.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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