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UNFCCC receives pledges from 55 countries

World Cement,

Following the conclusion of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has received submissions of national pledges to cut and limit greenhouse gases by 2020 from 55 countries. These countries together account for 78% of global emissions from energy use. 

“This represents an important invigoration of the UN climate change talks under the two tracks of Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. “The commitment to confront climate change at the highest level is beyond doubt. These pledges have been formally communicated to the UNFCCC. Greater ambition is required to meet the scale of the challenge. But I see these pledges as clear signals of willingness to move negotiations towards a successful conclusion,” he said.

Some of the pledges made are listed below. The majority of these are conditional.

  • Australia will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% on 2000 levels by 2020 if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal capable of stabilising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450 ppm CO2-eq or lower. Australia will unconditionally reduce its emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020, and by up to 15% by 2020 if there is a global agreement which falls short of securing atmospheric stabilisation at 450 ppm CO2-eq and under which major developing economies commit to substantially restrain emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia's.
  • Belarus has pledged a 5 – 10% reduction on 1990 levels, which is premised on the presence of and access of Belarus to the Kyoto flexible mechanisms, intensification of technology transfer, capacity building and experience enhancement for Belarus taking into consideration the special conditions of the Parties included in Annex I undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, clarity in the use of new LULUCF rules and modalities.
  • Canada will reduce emissions by 17% from 2005 levels, to be aligned with the final economy-wide emissions target of the United States in enacted legislation.
  • As part of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012, the EU reiterates its conditional offer to move to a 30% reduction by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and that developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities. 
  • Japan has pledged a 25% reduction based o 1990 levels, which is premised on the establishment of a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate and on agreement by those economies on ambitious targets.
  • Liechtenstein commits itself to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. If other developed countries agree to comparable reductions and emerging economies contribute according to their respective capabilities and responsibilities within a framework of a binding agreement, Liechtenstein is prepared to raise its target up to 30%.
  • New Zealand is prepared to take on a responsibility target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions of between 10% and 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, if there is a comprehensive global agreement. This means:
  • The global agreement sets the world on a pathway to limit temperature rise to not more than 2° C.
  • Developed countries make comparable efforts to those of New Zealand. 
  • Advanced and major emitting developing countries take action fully commensurate with their respective capabilities.
  • There is an effective set of rules for land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).
  • There is full recourse to a broad and efficient international carbon market.
  • Norway has pledged an emissions reduction target of 30% on 1990 levels. As part of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012 where major emitting Parties agree on emissions reductions in line with the 2 °C target, Norway will move to a level of 40% reduction for 2020.
  • The US has committed to an emissions reduction in the range of 17% (based on 2005 levels), in conformity with anticipated U.S. energy and climate legislation, recognising that the final target will be reported to the Secretariat in light of enacted legislation. (The pathway set forth in pending legislation would entail a 30% reduction in 2025 and a 42% reduction in 2030, in line with the goal to reduce emissions 83% by 2050.)

More information about pledges can be found here:

Developing countries communicated information on their nationally appropriate mitigation actions. This can be found here:

The next round of formal negotiations is scheduled to be in Bonn, Germany, at the end of May 2010. Several countries have indicated their wish to see a quick return to the negotiations with more meetings than the scheduled sessions. “We are seeking further guidance from governments,” de Boer added.

 The secretariat will continue to maintain and update the lists on its website

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