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Ban says Mexico climate talks may not reach accord

Irish Times

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that a key UN conference on climate change in Mexico at the end of this year might not produce the definitive agreement the world body is seeking.

The admission brings Mr Ban, who ultimately is responsible for global climate change negotiations, in line with the view of many national negotiators and some of his own officials.

Attention has focused on the meeting, from November 29th-December 10th, in Cancun, since a UN summit in Copenhagen last December fell short of a legally binding deal to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

“We need to be practical and realistic,” Mr Ban told a questioner at a monthly news conference at the UN headquarters yesterday. “It may be the case that we may not be able to have that comprehensive binding agreement.”

His comment followed a climate meeting in Bonn, Germany, last week where delegates said the talks on pledges to cut greenhouse gases had moved backwards rather than forwards.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said at that meeting that goals at Cancun should include a mandate to move toward an all-embracing agreement “which would take more time”.

Another focus should be getting countries to deliver on past promises on climate aid and protecting forests, she said.

Mr Ban said negotiations had made “real progress” in some areas, such as financing poor countries to tackle climate change, developing technology to adapt to it and reforestation.

“On the basis of these sectoral areas, we will try to build so that we will be able to move ahead in a more comprehensive way,” he added. “First and foremost we must bridge the gap of trust between developed and developing countries.”

Rich and poor countries are divided over who should bear the brunt of emissions cuts.

The existing agreement caps the carbon dioxide emissions of almost 40 developed countries up to 2012. However, new targets need the agreement of at least 143 countries – or three-quarters of the pact’s parties.

At Copenhagen, most countries signed up for an accord meant to limit a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees, but it did not spell out how.

Many rich nations and some major emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil reckon that a legally binding deal may have to wait, perhaps until a further meeting in 2011 in South Africa.


The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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