Durban: With the debate between rich and poor countries in Durban stuck on legally binding emission cuts versus voluntary measures, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tuesday said both are important for a global deal and should not be pitted against each other.
"Voluntary measures by countries and legally binding emission cuts are to condition each other and should not be put into competition against each other. Both are important and it cannot be either/or," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner told IANS.
"You cannot totally rely on voluntary measures but they are necessary as they show the commitment of the countries at regional level to deal with adverse impact of climate change. Similarly legally binding targets cannot solve all problems," he said.
Steiner expressed confidence that a global deal can be worked out, based on both the measures.
"I am positive that we can arrive at a conclusion as despite all differences every nation is at the table searching for some positive outcome," said Steiner, who is also an under-secretary-general of the UN.
He said that they have provided the evidence that climate change is happening and now it is up to the governments to take action.
While the European Union has proposed for a new single global treaty, the US has rejected it saying it cannot take until all developing economies are party to it. India has played the card of equity as central to any global deal while China showed its readiness to take legal emission cuts but with five pre-conditions post 2020.
The International Energy Agency`s executive director, Maraia Van Der Hoeven said the world should not wait for a global deal but should swing into action immediately.
"Don`t wait for a global deal ... act now to make robust policy to deal with the issue of climate change as it is important for energy security," she said.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the developed countries are bound to take legal emission cuts while it is voluntary for developing countries