The Copenhagen Climate Conference

Countries close to deforestation pact

Stephen Beard Dec 15, 2009
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The Copenhagen Climate Conference

Countries close to deforestation pact

Stephen Beard Dec 15, 2009
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: It’s Day 9 at the U.N. summit in Copenhagen where the world is grappling with climate change. Marketplace reporters Stephen Beard and Sam Eaton are there. And we continue our coverage this morning just as the final high-level sessions get underway. Let’s bring in Stephen Beard, on the line with us live. Hello, Stephen.

Stephen Beard: Hello Bill.

Radke: So we are approaching home stretch in this summit. World leaders will arrive through Thursday, the final declaration is scheduled for Friday. What signs of progress are there?

Beard: Well the indications are that the summit is getting pretty close to agreement on a plan to limit deforestation, a key part of course of the whole climate change picture — when you chop down a tree, you remove one of nature’s ways of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Now all the major players here have apparently agreed [on] a plan to create big financial incentives to stop destructive, unfettered logging. This could be a breakthrough.

Radke: OK, could be a breakthrough. This is in contrast to some of what we’ve been hearing the last several days, because we’ve been talking about disagreements at this summit, particularly between rich countries and poor countries. What would you say, Stephen, is the most divisive issue?

Beard: Verification, I think. How do we know that when a country’s promised to cut its emissions of heat-trapping gases, it’s going to be as good as its word, it’s going to deliver? This is pretty crucial, it’s still a major source of division between the U.S. and China in particular. It seems this won’t be resolved here in Copenhagen, it’ll have to wait until later.

Radke: OK. My governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is expected to deliver a speech today, the California governor. Who else is speaking?

Beard: Senator John Kerry and the New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg; British Prime Minister Gordon Brown this evening, and of course President Obama arrives on Friday.

Radke: Very good. Marketplace reporter Stephen Beard there live in Copenhagen. Thank you, Stephen.

Beard: OK, Bill.

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