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Former U.N. Climate Chief Raises Expectations Of 2015 Breakthrough

Ben Garside, Reuters

U.N. climate negotiations have made greater progress towards agreeing a 2015 deal to bind all nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions than the lead-up to the previous attempt in 2009, former U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer told Reuters.

Envoys from almost 200 nations are aiming to agree this year on the main elements of a text to be signed by their leaders in Paris in late 2015 to tackle the emissions from 2020 that U.N.-backed scientists say are causing more severe droughts, flooding and a rise in sea levels.

“The process is definitely further advanced a year before Paris than it was a year before Copenhagen (in 2009),” de Boer said in an interview in London on Tuesday.

The Dutch diplomat was the public face of the negotiations from 2006 but stepped down shortly after the Copenhagen talks almost broke down despite the attendance of more than 130 world leaders late into the final night.

Late on Monday, the U.N. published several documents on its website meant to help guide negotiators towards agreed wording for the Paris deal, including on what countries need to include in their individual contributions and how richer nations will make good on a commitment to mobilise $100 billion a year to help poorer states.

“There is now greater clarity on the way forward on many of the substantive areas,” one document said.

For de Boer, who has led the Global Green Growth Institute advising developing countries since March, December’s summit in Lima, Peru, will indicate whether the world will be able to come together on the issue.

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