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UN Experts Participate in Delhi Sustainable Development Summit

7 February 2010: Several UN experts participated in the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, titled “Beyond Copenhagen: New Pathways to Sustainable Development,” which was held in New Delhi, India, from 5-7 February 2010, and organized by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Director-General of TERI, considered the Summit an opportunity as the first gathering of world leaders to assess the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. He underscored that the Copenhagen Accord laid down a limit of 2ºC increase in global temperature as the goal to reach to stabilize global climate change, and called for a commitment from governments at every level, corporations, civil society and the general public to deal effectively with climate change. He also stressed that the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report represents a “human effort of gigantic proportion and a daunting process of scholarship and scientific endeavor performed with meticulous coordination.”

Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), highlighted that Africa is already facing the brunt of climate change. He stated that the Copenhagen Accord was encouraging, but cautioned that lack of action is the biggest hurdle to development.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, emphasized the need to move towards low-carbon growth, addressing the twin challenges of climate change and poverty, and called on leaders to stay engaged in the climate change negotiations.

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, defined the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference as “a breakdown, not pre-structured or undertaken in good faith." He cautioned that the race to develop green technology would not necessarily ensure emission reductions. He called for: proceeding further without waiting for the US; upscaling the production of wind and solar technologies; and bringing “greentech” from the research and pre-commercial stage towards the commercial stage, based on research, development, demonstration and diffusion.

The Summit gathered leaders from various regions of the world with a view to formulating strategies to move the sustainable development agenda forward after the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Themes discussed included: accelerating socioeconomic development as a key to adaptation; the role of technology; building institutions for effective climate governance; and financing opportunities post Copenhagen. A World CEO Forum was also organized in the context the Summit, under the theme “Vision for a Sustainable Tomorrow: business as a game changer” by TERI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), India, in which Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, participated. [Summit Website] [Pachauri's Speech] [Sachs' Keynote Address] [CEO Summit Bulletin]