Delegates converge for climate finale; officials say success is close

Delegates converged Sunday for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter negotiations on a climate change treaty, as UN officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Delegates converged Sunday for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter negotiations on a climate change treaty, as UN officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.

Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate official, said on the eve of the 192-nation conference that despite unprecedented unity and concessions, industrial countries and emerging nations need to dig deeper.

“Time is up,” de Boer said. “Over the next two weeks governments have to deliver.”

Finance — billions of dollars immediately and hundreds of billions of dollars annually within a decade — was emerging as the key to unblocking an agreement that would bind the global community to a sweeping plan to combat climate change.

Nations also must need to commit to larger emission reductions, de Boer said.

South Africa on Sunday became the latest country to announce an emissions target. It said over the next 10 years it would reduce emissions by 34 per cent from “business as usual,” the level they would reach under ordinary circumstances.

By 2025 that figure would peak at 42 per cent, effectively levelling off and thereafter begin to decline.

“This makes South Africa one of the stars of the negotiations,” said the environmental group Greenpeace.

President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the conclusion of the two-week conference, after phone consultations with other heads of state, was taken as a signal that an agreement was getting closer.

He originally planned to make an hours long stop in the Danish capital this week.

More than 100 heads of state and government have said they will attend the last day or two, making Copenhagen the largest and most important summit ever held on climate.

“Never in the 17 years of climate negotiations have so many different nations made so many firm pledges together,” de Boer said.

“It’s simply unprecedented.”

Some were arriving to the summit on trains splashed with a green stripe to symbolize efforts to reduce the convention’s carbon footprint.

One train carried 450 UN officials, delegates, climate activists and journalists from Brussels and more trains were leaving from other European capitals.

Just Posted

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Tkachuk’s goal in 3rd gives Flames 2-1 win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matthew Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal midway through… Continue reading

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Most Read