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A rousing endorsement

December 10, 2010

Fmr UN Climate Chief, Yvo de Boer’s answer to CDM reform: don’t let the UN near it!

Some quotes from a recent side-event in Cancun (from point carbon today):

The UNFCCC is not the right place to discuss details of the carbon market, its former chief said.

Speaking at an event hosted by the International Emissions Trading Association (Ieta) in Cancun, former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said the body is better suited for setting overarching climate goals.

“The thing the UNFCCC is most useful for is agreement on an international level of ambition – it is not a forum for implementation,” he said Thursday.

He added that questions about how emission rights or permits are allocated and generate revenue “is a matter for national and regional governments to deal with”.

De Boer spoke on a panel with Ieta president Henry Derwent, a former UN climate negotiator for the UK, on the current state of negotiations.

Derwent added that the UNFCCC doesn’t have the expertise to handle the technical and operational aspects of a global emissions trading system.

“A much greater level of administration and detail at the UNFCCC (would be needed) than it currently has,” he said.

De Boer said that the UN as a whole needs to undergo system-wide reform in order to focus on a global “green growth agenda”.

“It struck me, especially with my job in the UN, that we are really handicapped,” he said. “There is not really a coherent body or system in the UN to respond to climate change.”

He added that agencies like the UN Development Programme and World Bank currently play climate change roles “that cannot be distinguished”.

“We need to create a new body with a responsibility for sustainable development and green growth,” he said, noting that the body could pull together relevant sector agencies.

On prospects for the outcome of the climate talks currently underway in Cancun, de Boer said he hopes negotiators will be able to adopt the text on long-term cooperative action (LCA).

“What we need to see is the adoption of the LCA text that is currently on the table in a modified form and a decision to push some of the issues on the text forward,” he said.

Such issues could include the details on a proposed body that would oversee a climate aid “green fund”, and a “mumble on the future of the Kyoto protocol”. He said a decision on the future of the legally-binding climate treaty cannot be reached in Cancun, as it runs the risk of “ruining the process”.

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