BERLIN Next week's climate conference in Paris will only be a success if the final deal includes a solid review scheme that ensures pledges to reduce carbon emissions are really kept, a senior German government official said on Thursday.
Officials from nearly 200 countries will meet in the French capital from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to negotiate a plan to curb global warming by reducing carbon emissions, aiming to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).
National climate action plans submitted so far by more than 170 nations would only limit temperature rises to around 3C, a level at which scientists say there is likely to be a dramatic increase in storms, floods, droughts and desertification.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Berlin was hoping that the Paris talks could still secure enough pledges to reach the 2C goal.
"But ambitious goals are not enough, we also need a reliable transparency and accountability system," he said.
This meant each country accepting that its national climate action plan would be reviewed independently every five years.
He said it was not realistic, however, to expect the climate deal that emerged from Paris to provide for sanctions to punish those who did not meet their pledges.
Germany aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and regards itself as a leader in efforts to curb global warming.
The official said he did not expect the Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) emissions cheating scandal, which eluded German regulators, to dent Germany's environmental reputation significantly.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Kevin Liffey)