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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Provides Update on Status of Negotiations

14 May 2009: In a press conference held in New York, US, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer emphasized the need to accelerate progress with only 200 days left before the Copenhagen climate change conference.

He noted that climate change remains high on the international agenda despite the financial crisis.

De Boer also pointed to some encouraging developments such as the “clear commitment” of the new US Administration to re-engage in international negotiations and put an ambitious domestic policy package in place. He stressed that US President Barack Obama had reinvigorated the “major economies process” started by former President George W. Bush, with a greater focus on climate change. He also noted that many countries were re-channeling part of their stimulus packages in “greener” directions. Noting that emission reduction targets for most industrialized countries were now on the table, he underlined the importance for any Copenhagen agreement to clarify industrialized countries' emissions reductions by 2020, and developing countries' willingness to limit their emissions' growth.

De Boer emphasized the need to engage all countries to avoid carbon leakage, and stressed the importance for the US and China to reach an understanding on the way forward. He added that parties would need to approve an international governance structure for climate change agreements that includes representation for developing countries, but not necessarily require additional institutions. [The Press Briefing]