Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2015 Contents BG20 INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 2015 • WEEK FOUR
Less than a week before the
United Nations deadline for
countries to file greenhouse-
gas pledges necessary to keep
a global climate change deal
on track, it looks like most
of the world is missing in
Ahead of the March 31 target, only the Euro-
pean Union and Switzerland have unveiled
plans, representing about 10 per cent of global
emissions. The US has promised to hit the
deadline. The rest of the world s major
economies, including China, India, Australia
and Japan, are unlikely to complete submissions
in time, according to environmental groups
tracking UN climate talks.
More than 190 nations are scheduled to meet
in Paris in December to craft an international
deal aimed at slowing global warming. Countries
may be holding off on individual plans as long
as possible to see what others are doing and
to shrink the time for negotiation on their own
programmes, suggested Wai-Shin Chan, a
strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc.
"There s a bit of a waiting game going on,"
Chan said by telephone from Hong Kong. Delay-
ing "doesn t really give other countries much
time to scrutinise and assess, and say We ll do
more if you do more. "
The holdup shows the obstacles facing nego-
tiators as they seek a plan to avoid catastrophic
global warming. The UN wants the plans to
be submitted well before the meeting to avoid
a last-minute pile-up like the that one that
sank the talks in Copenhagen in 2009.
"It s very important that as many major
economies as possible share their offers early,"
said Jennifer Morgan, director of climate pro-
grammes at the World Resources Institute, a
Washington-based advocacy group.
The proposals come in what the UN calls
intended nationally determined contributions,
or INDCs. They re supposed to contain voluntary
measures for each nation to pare back fossil-
fuel use, accelerate renewable energy and adapt
to rising seas and other measures.
Negotiators in Warsaw in 2013 agreed to submit
pledges by the end of the first quarter of 2015
for "those parties ready to do so," a phrase sig-
naling the date wasn t a hard deadline. The UN
can analyse the submissions made until October
"It seems difficult to understand why a major
economy would not be ready," Franz Perrez, the
Swiss climate envoy, said by e-mail. "This would
clearly undermine the trust in partners."
The Paris agreement would be the first to wrest
commitments from all nations. It s intended to
build on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required
pollution reductions only in industrialized nations
and set no limits for developing ones like China
and India, where emissions have skyrocketed.
"Most of the developed countries were insisting
in the course of negotiations to have this deadline,
but many of them are now faltering," said Quamrul
Chowdhury, Bangladesh s envoy at the talks.
Bangladesh expects to complete its work within
a couple of months.
The discussions will remain on track as long
as details are available by June or July, said Jake
Schmidt, director of international programs at
the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Whether or not these countries propose some-
thing strong sends a signal about how serious
they are," he said by phone.
The European Union s programme submitted
March 6 calls for a 40 per cent cut in greenhouse
gases below 1990 levels by 2030. The Swiss out-
lined a 50 per cent cut.
In a joint statement in November, the US said
that it would cut emissions by more than a quar-
ter, and China for the first time said carbon
emissions would peak by about 2030.
US officials have said they re on track to sub-
mit a formal pledge this month. China s lead
negotiator Su Wei said in December that a for-
mal submission will be made by mid-2015. The
National Development and Reform Commission
in Beijing, which coordinates climate policy,
didn t reply to questions submitted by fax.
India, the third-biggest polluter, has discussed
submitting plans no earlier than June.
Brazil is working to deliver its filing before
October, said Carlos Klink, secretary for climate
change at the environment ministry. It has cut
emissions 41 per cent from 2005 levels and
intends to make a 36 per cent to 39 per cent
reduction by 2020.
"We will have an ambitious goal for Paris,"
he said in an interview. "Brazil has already been
aggressive in the last years."
Japan, Australia and Canada haven t indicated
when they ll reveal their plans, Schmidt said.
"We cannot comment on the specific timing,"
Junya Nakano, an official in charge of climate
change at Japan s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
said Tuesday. "We are taking into account sub-
missions from other countries" and will submit
"as soon as possible."
to miss climate deadline
Haze surrounds the International
Commerce Centre as a cruise ship
sails past in Hong Kong.
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