The current global economic crisis will only have a limited impact on global efforts to clinch a climate deal in Copenhagen, said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) said.
"Many pundits have been warning that the current economic woes could throw efforts to combat climate change off track," de Boer told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.
"It is true that due to the recession, there is less capital available on the market for large-scale renewable energy projects," de Boer said.
But the impact would be limited as many countries including China and the United States see it as an opportunity to change course and strive to green their economies, said de Boer.
China has unveiled a 584-billion-U.S.-dollars stimulus package, up to 40 percent of which would be used to help bolster conservation, environmental protection, and renewable energy, de Boer said, noting that the country is shuting down many highly polluting small and medium-sized plants.
U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged some 150 billion dollars to create five million new "green" jobs in the next 10 years, the executive secretary said, adding that the new U.S. administration is not only committed to taking action against climate change domestically but is also strongly reengaging in international negotiations.
Besides, the 27-member European Union has agreed to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, while developing nations including Brazil and Mexico have also unveiled strategic measures to tackle climate change, which would contribute positively to the climate change negotiations, de Boer said.
Developed nations are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and have the highest per capita emissions, so the upcoming climate deal should set for them a clear emission reduction target, de Boer said.
Developing nations are also key to reaching agreement in Copenhagen and they should undertake appropriate mitigation actions after receiving necessary economic and technological support, he added.
"A key challenge of Copenhagen will be to ensure that the deal is equitable for the all," de Boer said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2009)