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October 6, 2009

Danish minister: No more time to delay climate choices

Published: Friday 2 October 2009

With only 70-or so days to go before leaders meet to agree on a post-Kyoto climate deal in Copenhagen, there is a need to speed up negotiations and “make political choices,” Danish Climate Change and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard told EurActiv in an interview.

Not bad, and she sensibly massages expectations downwards…

Let’s take the worst-case scenario: the US, deadlocked by the health reform and the economic crisis, does not take leadership. In the absence of a complete treaty, what would constitute a successful outcome of the conference?

What matters for Copenhagen is that afterwards we can credibly say that Copenhagen has brought about a change in the sense that the binding political decisions taken there have put the world on the right track. So that we can make it likely that we can stay below the two degrees average increase in global temperatures.

That is basically what we must strive for. At the G8 meeting this summer and at the Major Economies Forum, they said that we must stay below 2C.

And one could say that the largest economies said ‘A’ then and now in Copenhagen they must deliver and say ‘B’ – so they must deliver according to what they said this summer.

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