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The heart of a new global climate deal begins to take shape

New analyses are giving mixed grades to the most recent greenhouse gas emissions targets submitted to the United Nations, with particularly low marks for the pledge from South Korea.

With the targets from South Korea, China, Iceland and Serbia all submitted at the end of June, the United Nations now has plans from 44 countries including the 28-member European Union for cutting carbon. Those and others expected to arrive over the next few months will form the heart of a new global agreement to tackle climate change over the coming decades.


Nobel laureates call for action at Paris climate talks

MAINAU, Germany -- In a sweltering white tent on an island in Lake Constance, bordering Germany, Austria and Switzerland, three dozen Nobel laureates on Friday signed a declaration for action on climate change.

The letter says that growing prosperity among humanity has environmental consequences that in turn threaten prosperity, adding that countries must move decisively at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 to limit future greenhouse gas emissions.


Clinton's emails reveal optimism about climate talks, concerns about media

"Onward!" That's the cheery subject line on the email then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent to U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern just days after the Copenhagen, Denmark, climate change summit in 2009.

That private email and a handful of others discussing the U.N. climate change negotiations were made public by the State Department this week under a court order. The missives, covering the period from March to December 2009, are hardly explosive, but they do offer a window into the sensitivity of Clinton, Stern and others in the State Department to press coverage and underscore the seriousness with which the administration appears to have treated the climate negotiations as crunch time in Copenhagen neared.


Flood of emissions pledges boost hopes for global climate deal

Pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions poured in yesterday from across the globe as countries from Korea to Iceland vowed new contributions toward what many hope will be the first truly international climate change accord.

China made the biggest splash with a formal declaration to the United Nations of a promise to stop its rise in annual carbon pollution by 2030. The government also said it will slash its emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60 to 65 percent below 2005 levels and boost non-fossil-fuel energy sources -- including both renewables and nuclear -- to 20 percent.


U.N. climate chief urges 'dialogue' with oil majors ahead of Paris summit

A month ago, chief executives of six global oil and gas firms wrote a letter to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, urging "clear, stable, long-term ambitious policy frameworks" from governments worldwide. Noting the risks that climbing emissions pose, they called for a carbon price.

Last week, Figueres issued her reply to the CEOs of BG Group PLC, BP PLC, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Statoil and Total SA, all European firms. In it, she said their intention to support international climate negotiations would "provide confidence to governments that a low carbon, resource efficient and prosperous economy is achievable." She urged the oil giants to scale up efforts on operational efficiency in the oil and gas sector.

About this report

E&E tracks work on a post-Kyoto agreement for curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases.


Major Economies

China, India

Developing Countries