December 17, 2009 / 10:11 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Quotes from Copenhagen climate talks

(Reuters) - Following are notable quotes about U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen on Thursday. A summit of more than 120 world leaders will try to secure agreement on who should cut greenhouse gas emissions, by how much and who should pay.

YVO DE BOER, HEAD OF THE U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE SECRETARIAT

He has likened the Dec 7-18 talks to a start/stop cable car ride to a mountaintop. “Hold tight and mind the doors, the cable car is moving again,” he said.

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON

On funding:

“In the context of a strong accord, in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries.

“We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private.

On China and transparency over emissions:

“It would be hard to imagine, speaking for the United States, that there could be the legal or financial commitment that I’ve just announced in the absence of transparency from the second biggest emitter, and now the I guess the first biggest.

“There has to be a willingness to move toward transparency in whatever forum we finally determine is appropriate. So if there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency that’s kind of a deal break for us.

CHINA’S CLIMATE CHANGE AMBASSADOR YU QINGTAI

“Copenhagen is too important to fail

“China is not interested in becoming a party to the efforts by some people to try to blame other countries for “a failure” at Copenhagen.

“I believe what they are trying to do is to find excuses for their own obstructive role and very unconstructive attitude in the whole process.

SWEDISH ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ANDREAS CARLGREN

“I hope work will now start in the two contact groups. We will make use of every hour in the next 2 days and nights ahead of us. If there is an attempt (to shorten the text) that will happen in the contact groups.”

On the United States’ pledge of money:

“We see it as a sign that even in these last days there is the possibility of political agreement.”

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

“The news that we’ve been receiving is not good,” she told parliament in Berlin. “I must say very honestly, that the United States offer to cut (C02 emissions) by 4 percent compared to 1990 levels is not ambitious.”

INDIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER JAIRAM RAMESH

“The biggest stumbling block in my view is the desire of the part of some parties to abandon the Kyoto protocol unilaterally and I think there’s been an absence of trust and I think the blame-game has begun.”

PRESIDENT OF THE MALDIVES, MOHAMED NASHEED

“I am very hopeful that we can still have an agreement. I wasn’t so hopeful last night, but this morning I feel that we can still come out with an agreement tomorrow.”

On U.S. President Barack Obama:

“He has to raise his emissions ambitions higher, much, much higher. It really is not so proper for the United States to say that they cannot raise their ambition. If there is one country who has all the technology and all the money to green their economy the United States is of course the country. I really hope the US can raise emissions expectations much, much higher.”

SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA

“It’s a matter of life or death for the population of the globe. We should put our heads together and take very serious decisions. Our view is we are dealing with an issue that threatens the very survival of humanity. That must take precedence, not the issue of trying to benefit while others are going under.”

JAPANESE ENVIRONMENT MINISTER SAKIHITO OZAWA

“Some countries even amongst the G77 plus China are working with us and we in Japan have in consultation with some other countries that they are still the stumbling block.”

IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD

“The so-called developed nations with 20 percent of the total world population consume 85 percent of world energy resources, and therefore they...play a large part in environmental pollutions.

Clearly, the current climatic conditions are the outcome of a system of thinking based on egoistic and megalomaniac beliefs prevailing in some countries.

We propose that...a working group be formed with volunteers from different countries from among dedicated and knowledgeable thinkers who will conduct a study on the criteria for happiness and welfare of human communities.

We also propose that they year 2011 be designated as the year of ‘change in consumption models and reductions of pollutions in the world’”

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY “So people want to keep Kyoto, OK let’s keep Kyoto. But let us agree on an overall political umbrella...

“Time is against us, let’s stop posturing,” he said.

“A failure in Copenhagen would be a catastrophe for each and every one of us.”

“We need to change track or we are heading for disaster.”

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