55 nations set 2020 carbon goals since Copenhagen

07/02/2010 04:33

OSLO (Reuters) - Fifty-five nations accounting for almost 80 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions have set national goals for fighting climate change by a deadline in the "Copenhagen Accord", the United Nations said on Monday.

"This represents an important invigoration of the U.N. climate change talks," Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, said of the varying national promises for curbs on emissions until 2020 submitted by a Jan. 31 deadline.

 
Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, covers his eyes as he attends a news conference at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen in this December 19, 2009 file photo. (REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/Files)
The countries, including top emitters led by China and the United States, mostly reiterated commitments unveiled before December's U.N. summit in Denmark, which disappointed many countries by failing to agree a new binding U.N. treaty.

It said the pledges covered 55 nations and amounted to 78 percent of global emissions from energy use.

"Greater ambition is required to meet the scale of the challenge," de Boer said. "But I see these pledges as clear signals of willingness to move negotiations towards a successful conclusion."

Mexico will host the next annual U.N. meeting, in late November and early December, as part of world efforts to avert more droughts, wildfires, floods, species extinctions and rising sea levels.

The Copenhagen Accord seeks to limit a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and sets a goal of $100 billion a year in aid for developing nations from 2020 to help confront climate change.

It left blanks for countries to fill in their climate targets for achieving the 2C goal by Jan. 31. Analysts say current targets are too lax and will mean temperatures rise by more than 2C.

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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