UNFCCC Executive Secretary Outlines Benefits of Sectoral Approach

17 September 2008: In an interview with Carbon Finance,

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said a sectoral approach to reducing

emissions would have a “clear environmental benefit.”

He recalled that this approach,

which is supported by Japan, was a major bone of contention at last month's

climate change talks in Accra, Ghana, as developing countries see it as an

attempt to impose emission-reduction targets on them. He added that in Accra,

supporters of the sectoral approach were able to explain that it aims to be: a

bottom-up instrument to compare the efforts that industrialized countries are

making respectively; and a way of scaling up the current project-based


He noted the environmental benefits of getting industries to perform

to the same standards. De Boer dismissed the assertion that a sectoral approach

would help address “carbon leakage,” when economic activity moves from a region

with carbon caps to one without, and stated that building state-of-the-art

industrial facilities makes economical sense, even in developing countries. [Carbon

Finance Press Release]