The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is only a few weeks away and climate change negotiators are working day and night to identify the common ground for an agreement.
I see three key issues in the negotiations:
1. Setting of targets by developed countries for greenhouse gas emission reduction.
2. Commitment by developing countries to actions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Financing of adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.
These are very difficult issues, but let me state the obvious: We cannot compromise on our ambitions to limit man made global warming to a maximum of two degrees centigrade, and thus have a good chance to adapt to the consequent impacts.
Science is very clear on this point: If we continue to increase the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we are bound to pass a number of critical tipping points that may lead to dire consequences. And it is also clear that we can halt or change the trend. It is doable and indeed profitable compared to the cost of inaction, the cost of doing nothing.
My aspiration for Copenhagen is simple: We must conclude a binding agreement that will set the world on the path to limit global warming to a maximum of two degrees.