Former UN climate chief sees agreement in Paris talks

MANILA, Philippines — A former U.N. climate chief expressed confidence Thursday that global climate talks in Paris later this year will produce an agreement, putting the world on track to begin the process of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Yvo de Boer, now head of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute, said in an interview that the current focus of the climate debate on finding greener models of economic growth is important to developing economies, including those in Asia, which cannot sacrifice poverty eradication in achieving climate goals.

De Boer, who was head of the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, lauded China’s recent pledge to cut emissions as a signal Beijing recognizes its current economic model is not sustainable.

China, the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter, said in November it will cap its emissions by around the year 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuel consumption to around 20 percent by the same year.

“The Chinese commitment is important for climate change but it is even more important because it signals a desire to take economic growth in a different direction,” de Boer said in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila.

De Boer said he believes an agreement will be reached in the Paris talks that start Nov. 30 because the world desperately needs to see an advance in the climate process, and “because the bar has been significantly lowered.”

Read the full article from the Associated Press here.