Paet: UN Climate Conference Sent a Strong Political Signal
On Monday, 24 September, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet attended a high-level side event to the UN climate change conference entitled Global Voices on Climate Change.
The keynote speaker of the event was former US Vice President Al Gore, who expressed hope that an agreement could be reached regarding a new global climate treaty by 2009. Gore proposed that negotiations on the treaty should begin in 2010 and that nations should not be given the usual amount of time to conform to requirements. Gore added that until a new agreement is reached, climate change must remain a priority in the political spotlight, which should be achieved by holding high-level meetings on the subject periodically during the negotiation period.
According to Foreign Minister Paet the recent UN climate conference sent a strong political signal. The desire and conviction to act are present on the very highest level, Paet said. He added that it is in Estonia's best interests to reach a new global climate agreement as quickly as possible. Then enterprises have a clear picture of what they need to invest in to meet the new requirements, Paet noted.
In December, the UN's annual climate change conference will take place in Bali, Indonesia. At the conference, negotiations will begin on the creation of a new global climate change agreement (the follow-up pact to the Kyoto Protocol).
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. The Protocol was negotiated in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and it will expire in 2012. Estonia ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 14 October, 2002.