In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Yvo de Boer, the man who led the UN into the Copenhagen climate talks and is now an advisor to KPMG, answers your questions.
On the final day of the Cancun climate talks, Yvo discusses the progress made towards a comprehensive global climate treaty, the (lack of) future for a global carbon tax, and how crucial emissions trading schemes are.
Next in the hotseat is Peter Voser, the chief executive of Shell, who will be answering your questions on this site next Friday, December 17th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of today – Friday, December 10th – to email@example.com.
But for now, over to Yvo:
So what is happening at Cancun?
Environment ministers and government officials from around the world are gathering in Mexico to talk about climate change, and how to tackle the problem of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Didn’t they do that last year?
Last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen produced a deal by which both developed and developing countries for the first time agreed to curbs on their greenhouse gas emissions, but that was not a full treaty.
Will a treaty be signed this year?
No – the Cancun meeting is a staging post on the way to a bigger meeting in South Africa next year, at which the United Nations is hoping a new pact will be signed.
A new panel of on global sustainability was revealed on Monday by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations’ secretary-general, asked to ”think big” about ways to “lift people out of poverty while tackling climate change and ensuring that economic development is environmentally friendly”.
Quite a task. Excuse the cynicism, but why not add world peace to the list? Just for good measure.
The 21-person unpaid panel is a mix of serving and former leaders and ministers, including Han Seung-soo, former prime minister of the Republic of Korea, and Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayid Al Nahayan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society from developed and developing countries.