COPENHAGEN, Denmark– Delegates converged Sunday for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter negotiations on a climate change treaty, as U.N. officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.
Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s top climate official, said on the eve of the 192-nation conference that despite unprecedented unity and concessions, industrial countries and emerging nations need to dig deeper.
“Time is up,” de Boer said. “Over the next two weeks governments have to deliver.”
Finance – billions of dollars immediately and hundreds of billions of dollars annually within a decade – was emerging as the key to unblocking an agreement that would bind the global community to a sweeping plan to combat climate change.
Nations also must need to commit to larger emission reductions, de Boer said.
A study released by the U.N. Environment Program on Sunday indicated that pledges by industrial countries and major emerging nations fall just short of the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have said are needed.
“For those who claim a deal in Copenhagen is impossible, they are simply wrong,” said U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner, releasing the report compiled by British economist Lord Nicholas Stern and the Grantham Research Institute.