By Lisa Friedman
International climate negotiations are “less scary” now than before the 2009 global warming summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in part because there is little expectation of a legally binding treaty, former U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said.
In an interview with ClimateWire, de Boer — now director general of the South Korea-based Global Green Growth Institute — said that at this time before Copenhagen, negotiators had “wildly different views” of what the summit would deliver. While many governments and environmental groups assumed the goal then was to nail down a legally binding agreement, the United States, China and a few other countries were actually never on board with that mission.
“I think the concept of internationally legally binding targets is pretty much off the table now. That makes Paris less scary,” de Boer said.