By PATRICK McGROARTY
With little hope for significant progress on a major
international climate agreement at this week's climate
negotiations, nations must take it upon themselves to reduce emissions and mitigate climate
change, the head of the International Energy Agency
(IEA) said Tuesday.
"The door to achieving our objective is closing," said
IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. "While I
strongly urge an agreement on emissions I have quite a simple
message to the participating in these talks: Don't wait for a
global deal. Act now."
Van der Hoeven said that IEA research shows global
temperatures are on track to rise an average of 6 degrees
Celsius by 2035 unless dramatic action to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions is taken.
To limit rising temperatures to a widely accepted target of an
average of 2 degrees Celsius, global growth would have to come
with just a 20% rise in emissions over current levels in the
years ahead, she said.
"That means all (infrastructure and development) built after
2017 needs to be zero carbon," Van der Hoeven said.
Many ministers and a few heads of state arrived in Durban,
South Africa, on Tuesday for the last four days of climate
talks led by the United Nations aimed at drafting a successor
to the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 treaty binding developed-world
nations to cut emissions.
The commitments industrialized countries have under Kyoto
expire after 2012. This year's meetings in Durban won't result
in a new binding deal that could cover more countries,
"We all hear that no significant progress is expected at
this (conference), and that should be a serious concern for all
of us," Van der Hoeven said.
Dow Jones Newswires