Issues to resolve for Copenhagen climate talks

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2009 9:53 AM

A list of key points negotiators hope to clarify before meeting for a decisive U.N. climate conference next month in Copenhagen, Denmark.

EMISSIONS TARGETS _ Industrial nations are asked to make specific pledges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, while developing nations should state how they are reducing emissions growth. Scientists say industrial countries should reduce emissions by 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels to avoid climate catastrophe. So far their pledges amount to far less. Developing nations want their rich counterparts to commit to cut emissions by at least 40 percent from 1990 levels.

CLIMATE AID _ Industrial nations are asked to contribute to a global climate aid fund to help the world's poorest cope with the effects of climate change. An interim deal at Copenhagen would clear the way to mobilize some funds. The European Union estimates euro100 billion, or about $150 billion, a year will be needed by 2020 to fight climate change in the developing world, with euro5 billion to euro7 billion needed in each of the next three years.

AID DISBURSEMENT _ Nations must agree on a mechanism for distributing funds both to help the developing world transition to low-carbon energy production as well as to aid poor nations hit by droughts, floods and other climate-linked disasters. Unlike current international funding agencies such as the World Bank, the new body would give developing countries an equal if not greater voice in how money is spent.

TREATY FRAMEWORK _ Negotiators must agree on the shape of a legally binding treaty. Developing nations want the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to be extended beyond its 2012 expiration, with expanded emission reductions pledges for 37 industrial countries. The United States rejected the protocol because it excluded obligations for developing countries, and it does not want to join now. It is unclear whether a second parallel agreement is required, whether Kyoto would be scrapped altogether, or whether the Kyoto terms would be cut-and-pasted into a single new document.