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Press Conference on Climate Talks at G8 Summit Held at UN Headquarters

15 July 2009: At a press conference on the results of the recent meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and the Major Economies Forum (MEF), which took place in Italy, Janos Pasztor, Director of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team, underscored that countries still had some “formidable differences” to bridge in order to “seal a deal” in Copenhagen in December. Among the key outcomes of these meetings, he referred to: the two degrees Celsius target endorsed by the leaders attending; the agreement to establish a global partnership to drive transformational low-carbon, climate-friendly technologies; the promise to increase dramatically the necessary investments in research and development; and the consideration of establishing a “Green Fund.”

He also noted that the UN Secretary-General had expressed his disappointment with the mid-term emission reduction targets announced by developed countries and had called for more ambitious ones. On the high-level climate change event the UN Secretary-General is expected to convene on 22 September 2009, Pasztor explained that the Summit's focus will be on interactive dialogue between Heads of State and Government during round table discussions. He added that, after an opening plenary (open to the press), participants would break up into four small round table sessions (all closed to the press), in the morning and the afternoon, co-chaired by two Heads of State or Government. He said the closing plenary (open to the press) would hear summaries of the eight round table sessions and that the outcome would consist of a summary of the discussions prepared by the Secretary-General as Chair of the Summit.

He also responded to questions pertaining to: the US and China's participation in the round tables to be held during the Climate Change September Summit; the UN's facilitating role in getting developing countries to implement mid-term goals; the likelihood of reaching an agreement in Copenhagen; the newly formed International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); and the creation of an advisory group on energy and climate change chaired by the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) panel of experts to advise the Secretary-General. [UN press release]