As political heavyweights speak in Copenhagen today, including Hillary Clinton, Ahmadinejad, Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Brazil’s Lula da Silva, the clock is ticking for an agreement to be reached.
World leaders have 36 hours left to take the brave and difficult decisions that will help the world to turn a corner and prevent climate change from becoming an even greater threat to people, and the habitats and economies that sustain us.
While many aspects of the Copenhagen negotiations have been tortuous, there are two major aspects of the negotiations that are both well advanced and stand to make a colossal difference to the world – decisions on REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and funding for adaptation to climate change in the developing world.
Meaningful commitments to short term action are critical. Pledges were made yesterday by the US, UK, France, Australia, Norway and Japan for a $3.5bn “quick-start” fund for REDD+ over the next three years. This is an important start, but is inadequate. Funding for REDD+ must be a minimum of $10bn – and ideally $25bn – over this three year period to respond at a level commensurate with the bold commitments of forested developing nations to end deforestation.
Our CEO, Peter Seligmann, who is in Copenhagen following the negotiations closely in the Bella Center, said: “Considerable progress has been made over the past two years, but decisions are needed now in Copenhagen to solidify the progress that has been made. These decisions should be backed up by a legally binding agreement by the end of 2010 and a timeframe for finalizing that agreement must be decided on in Copenhagen.”
Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui is the Press Officer for Conservation International.