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Forget pact: New UN climate boss

world Updated: Jun 11, 2010 01:29 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Christiana Figueres (53), the new executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change does not expect a genuine international agreement on combating global warming to be agreed upon within her lifetime.

“I don’t believe we’ll have a final agreement on climate in my lifetime,” said Figueres, who takes over in July, when current secretary Yves de Boer’s four-year term ends.

Figueres, diplomat from Costa Rica, maintained the ‘trust deficit’, with each nation pursuing its own interests, would not allow a ‘sound climate deal’ to be hammered out at the meeting in South Africa, scheduled for 2011, let alone at the forthcoming meeting in Cancun, Mexico, in December this year.

The current 10-day-long negotiations at Bonn too have failed to achieve any significant breakthrough.

An instance of the trust deficit Figueres referred to was evident on Wednesday when oil producing countries Saudi Arabia and Kuwait blocked a proposal for preparing a technical report on options available to limit global temperature rise by 2050 to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. “I can't understand what they fear from the report,” said Ronald Jumeau, UN Ambassador for Seychelles, an island nation vulnerable to temperature changes.

Figueres said negotiations were a gradual process to accommodate varying political realities. “I continue to be confident that governments will meet this challenge, for the simple reason that humanity must meet the challenge," said Figueres.