（2014-09-23）Austrian President Heinz Fischer highlighted here Tuesday the urgency for a legally binding climate deal as the clock is ticking toward the deadline for a new accord next year.
Fischer made the call at the UN Climate Summit, a one-day meeting hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and designed to kick start a process to a new global deal that will be agreed in Paris of France at the end of 2015.
More than 30 percent of Austria's total domestic final energy demand is now met by renewables, and the proportion is sure to top 34 percent by 2020, according to the president.
While acknowledging that Austria has already taken significant steps toward addressing the climate change, Fischer noted much more needs to be done and global climate negotiators need to come up with a decisive response to the severe global challenge.
"As a world community, we should strive collectively to halve global emissions by the mid of this century," Fishcher said. "That is why we need a new, legally binding climate agreement that is fit for the climate challenges of the twenty-first century."
The latest data showed that actions taken so far was not ambitious enough to put global emissions on a path that will hold global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
He also said that developed countries need to take the lead in this common battle and support developing countries so that the global response to climate change is ambitious and equitable at the same time.
"We need the broadest possible participation, with common but differentiated commitments from all countries, which reflect individual capabilities as they evolve over time," he said.
Tuesday's summit is not a formal part of the UN climate negotiations, but it is aimed at building momentum for the pledge that governments agreed in Durban, South Africa, in 2011 "to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties," to be adopted in Paris, France, in 2015.