UNFCCC Executive-Secretary and UNEP Executive Director Call for Broad Agreement in Copenhagen
30 January 2009: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner participated in a panel on “Rising to the Challenge of Copenhagen,” at the World Economic Forum on 29 January 2009, in Davos, Switzerland. The panel was moderated by Thomas L. Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The New York Times, and included Jacques Aigrain, Swiss Re CEO, Al Gore, former US Vice-President and Nobel Laureate, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, and Jeroen van der Veer, Royal Dutch Shell CEO.
Al Gore underlined that the new US administration is “very serious” about the climate change issue and ready to assume a leadership role, which, if followed by others, could enable the transition to a low-carbon future. Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed that targets, adequate funds and a transparent verification scheme are needed for countries to reach long-term goals. He emphasized that industrialized countries should reduce their emissions by 80% by 2050, and help developing countries adapt to climate change through technology transfer and a global fund. Steiner discussed the need for a climate agreement that has support from both policy makers and industry in all countries.
At a separate session on “Design for Good,” Steiner discussed UNEP's “Design for Sustainability” initiative, which promotes energy efficient and environmentally-friendly industrial systems. Steiner also took part in a session on 30 January 2009 on “Will the Environment Lose Out to the Economy?”
In addition, the Forum's programme featured other events related to climate change, including: controlling climate change; dealing with deforestation and addressing the scientific challenges of resolving climate problems; rising to the challenge of Copenhagen; climate issues in Africa; the electric vehicle conundrum; climate justice; emissions trading; the politics of water; science for world leaders; the challenge of sustainable mobility; and the right to food. [UNEP Press Release] [Summary of "Rising to the Challenge of Copenhagen] [Summaries and Webcasts of Davos Discussions]