Discussions heat up on climate agreement

  • 2009-10-07
  • By Ella Karapetyan
TALLINN - The foreign ministers of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who were gathered together for the first time ever, within the framework of a UN General Assembly meeting in New York, discussed preparations for the Copenhagen climate conference. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasized that the world community does not have much time to finish preparations for the climate agreement, to be concluded in December in Copenhagen, it was posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site.

The goal of the agreement is to limit the average temperature rise on earth by not more than 2 degrees Centigrade by 2020, and that consequently the level of the ocean will not rise by more than 0.7-1.4 meters. "Reaching an agreement is complicated. But we must keep in mind that the level we are reaching for is still too high for many island nations, who will suffer first as a result of rising sea levels," explained Paet.

According to Paet, the Nordic and Baltic countries share the opinion that they should continue making an effort to ensure the meaningful content of the climate agreement to be signed in Copenhagen. "Both the Baltic and Nordic countries realize how critical it is to achieve a climate agreement. We share the position that financial responsibility should be divided globally according to the 'polluter pays' principle, still taking into account the country's ability to pay and its individual features," he stressed.

"Estonia agrees with the proposal of the European Commission that the European Union should accept a common goal for reducing emissions in the climate agreement," he said.
Moreover, the foreign ministers of the Baltic and Nordic countries discussed cooperation in the UN and other international organizations more generally, while also introducing their nations' plans to submit candidacies for governing bodies in the organizations. Paet reiterated to his colleagues that Estonia is a candidate to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council, from 2012-2015, and to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, from 2020-2021.