Andrew Deutz, director of international government relations for The Nature Conservancy
What does the Copenhagen outcome mean for addressing climate change at an international level moving forward?
Andrew Deutz, director of international government relations: Copenhagen crystallized the political will to act on climate change, but did not crystallize the specifics about how far to go and how to get there.
But the international discussions will continue, and particular issues that were not resolved here will continue to be negotiated over the next year in hopes of strengthening this agreement. Issues still to be resolved include:
What’s missing from this agreement?
Duncan Marsh, director of international climate policy: Due to the very difficult two weeks of negotiations that preceded the agreement, there was not time to finalize the accompanying detailed decision texts, including those on forests and adaptation.
There's a great deal of work still to be done to adequately address climate change. The levels of short-term reductions left in the agreement are disappointing and they remain below what the science tells us we need.
Nevertheless, the global leadership demonstrated by the heads of many developed and developing countries has been encouraging.
While the countries agreed to take action aimed at limiting temperature rises to no more than 2 degrees C, we are disappointed in the lack of agreement on a long-term global target to reduce emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels by mid-century — which some large developing countries oppose. This type of specific goal is crucial to focusing countries' efforts toward a common end-point and is essential for us to achieve our mission of protecting plants, animals and natural communities around the world.
We are very encouraged that President Calderon of Mexico, which will host next year’s conference, has expressed a strong commitment to getting a robust agreement done on reducing deforestation.
What were some of the positive outcomes of Copenhagen, in particular for important issues to the Conservancy — such as reducing emissions from deforestation and using nature to build resilience among the world’s most vulnerable?
Andrew Deutz: The negotiating text is only one part of the story. The conference also generated significant new financial commitments and opportunities to highlight nature-based solutions that are available today.
Donor governments agreed to mobilize $30 billion dollars over the next three years to jump start efforts in developing countries around climate change mitigation and adaptation, including pledges of $3.5 billion over three years just for reducing emissions from deforestation that was catalyzed by a $1 billion announcement from the United States.
At several events in Copenhagen, the Conservancy featured its groundbreaking work around the world to demonstrate how saving forests and using nature to help people adapt are crucial and effective solutions to climate change challenges.
The high-level event on adaptation that we organized with partners catalyzed commitments from a dozen or so governments, agencies and companies to undertake real work on the ground to demonstrate how to build the resilience of communities by protecting the natural systems they depend on.