Countries’ declared emissions reduction targets are not yet enough

“Though far from perfect, the Copenhagen Accord is a hard-fought political agreement. With most countries likely to sign, it is a breakthrough towards collective international action to limit global emissions and help build cleaner, more resilient economies”, said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

The Accord’s package of measures, which includes new financing for developing countries, was agreed by leaders of both the largest emitting countries and small vulnerable states. It was also noted by the fifteenth Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“We look forward to working with Mexico and the broader international community, ideally to establish a legally-binding agreement for post-2012 action under the UNFCCC by the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) in Mexico City in 2010,” said Gurría. “To achieve this agreement, international organisations have a major role to play by informing the discussions and helping negotiating parties reach a common understanding of the issues at stake”.

Countries’ declared emissions reduction targets are not yet enough, said the OECD.

Analysis suggested that developed countries would reduce emissions by only 18% in 2020 compared with 1990 levels, still below the 25-40% reduction needed to stay within a 2°C temperature increase. Developing countries also need to go further.

The OECD is investigating mechanisms for innovative international finance, added Gurría. “If the proper mix of policies and instruments to price carbon is put in place to reduce emissions by 20% in developed countries by 2020, this could raise the equivalent of 2.5% of their GDP. Only a fraction of that amount would be enough to supply the public money developed countries agreed to provide in the Copenhagen Accord, he said.

“Easy and rapid access to low-carbon technologies and technologies that can support adaptation will be critical to ensuring timely and effective action in developing countries,” noted Gurría.