By Laura Barron-Lopez - 03/04/14 09:57 AM EST
The Paris climate talks next year may repeat the failed 2009 talks if nations don't agree to mandatory emissions reductions in a treaty, Bangladesh's climate envoy to the United Nations said.
“Unless we have mandatory targets to cut emissions that are enforceable under international law, we are headed for failure” at next year’s climate summit, Quamrul Chowdhury told Bloomberg News.
In December, at a U.N.-sponsored meeting in Warsaw, however, countries agreed that a treaty to fight climate change let countries contribute voluntarily to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“Contributions are less than commitments,” said Chowdhury, who’s participated in climate negotiations for 22 years. “In order to reach consensus in Warsaw we accepted the language, but contributions will not be enough to save least-developed countries from the impacts of climate change.”
Since declaring a "year of action," President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are putting climate change front and center during diplomatic talks. Kerry made bold statements in February, calling climate change a "weapon of mass destruction."
Both have bulked up efforts overseas, ahead of the Paris talks, in the hopes that a substantial treaty will be achieved.