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Copenhagen Holds the Key To Worldwide CO2 Emissions

On 7th December, in Copenhagen, the long awaited two week international negotiations on climate change commence. It has been billed by Lord Stern as the "most important meeting since the Second World War". It has the potential to achieve a step change in the world's ambition to reduce man made carbon emissions and to definitively fire the starting gun on the race to a low carbon economy.

The negotiations are complex and have not always gone smoothly over the last 2 years. Specifically at stake are a number of key issues including:

Setting the level of the overall emissions reduction ambition, such as a global target for 2050.

Agreeing individual developed nation targets to 2020 and 2050 and the nature of developing nations' low carbon growth plans.

Putting in place new supporting mechanisms to ensure finance flows into low carbon investments including the expansion of the international carbon markets and a potential international fund to help developing nations.

Developing local capacity building for energy efficiency and technology innovation in developing countries.

The most important outcome of a strong deal at Copenhagen will be an increase in certainty for business and investors that action to tackle climate change will be rewarded and that a failure to take action will result in poor business performance. It is the private sector, through its investment in new low carbon technologies, which will primarily tackle climate change. Currently, investors and business are not investing at a sufficient rate to successfully limit carbon emissions.

For further information on the Government's role in the Copenhagen negotiations go to http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/

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