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UN Milan Climate Conference sees an explosion of interest in climate issues


From December 1 - 12, the most recent UN climate conference is being held in Milan, Italy. The summit is overshadowed by Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that his country has no immediate plans to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, designed to combat global warming. Since the environmental pact needs Moscow's approval to come into force, it is presently in limbo.

Despite this, the Milan conference has seen an explosion of interest on the part of governmental and non-governmental delegations. A plethora or side-events is looking at issues such as intelligent transport policies and the responsibility of the developed world to help emerging economies generate clean electricity. At the heart of many debates is the question of to what extent the rich economies of the world will need to change their extravagant life-styles in order to reduce greenhouse gasses, or whether technological solutions such as fuel-cell cars are the answer. Behind the scenes, the debate over a possible successor agreement to the floundering Kyoto Treaty is on.

DW's Jennifer Macey spoke with Richard Kinley, acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, about the significance of the Milan UN Climate Conference.