UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team Chief Holds Press Conference

4 December 2009: During a press conference held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, Janos Pasztor, Director of the Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team, underlined that there were several signs of optimism that the outcome of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen would be successful.

In particular, he highlighted: US President Barack Obama's announcement of the US emissions reduction target; the announcements from India and China regarding their efforts to reduce their emissions through energy intensity; the announcement of plans to lower carbon emissions by Brazil, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Mexico, among others; and the Port of Spain Declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Summit, in which 52 Heads of State and government indicate they were approaching Copenhagen with ambition, optimism and determination. He listed the key elements of an ambitious agreement that negotiators in Copenhagen would focus on, and stressed that by triggering fast-track funding - or the US$10 billion "Copenhagen launch fund" - a Copenhagen agreement would have an immediate effect on the implementation of those issues. He also responded to questions on: the importance of cap and trade in the future Copenhagen agreement; targets and emissions reductions pledges made to date; the validity of criticisms that agriculture had not been adequately included in the Copenhagen negotiations; the involvement of the private sector and certain corporations, such as the Gulf PetroChemicals Industry Company, which claimed to be an official partner of the Conference; the prospects for a financing scheme from the private sector in the agenda; comments by James Hansen, of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, including that a carbon tax was the only effective way to curb emissions; the question of the hacked e-mail accounts from a British climate research unit; and comments by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi that he had little confidence the developed countries would deliver in Copenhagen. [UN Press Release]