Friday, 14 August 2009

Climate talks risk failure unless they are accelerated, says U.N. official

Climate talks risk failure unless they are accelerated, says a top U.N. official.

BONN, GERMANY (AUGUST 14, 2009) REUTERS - United Nations (U.N.) talks on a new climate treaty due to be agreed in December risk failure unless negotiations accelerate, a senior U.N. official said on Friday (August 14) after a sluggish, week-long session involving 180 nations.
Negotiators made scant progress at the talks in Bonn held from Monday to Friday (August 10-14). They were attempting to break a deadlock on a shareout of curbs on greenhouse gases among rich and poor, or raising funds to help developing nations adapt to climate changes.

"Not enough progress has been made," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"I see this clock ticking every day in front of me indicating the number of days and hours that we have left until Copenhagen begins and time is running really short. This is a very complicated agreement that has to be negotiated and the pace simply isn't fast enough," said de Boer.

The Copenhagen conference does not begin until December 7, but de Boer said there are only 15 days set aside before that for negotiations -- at meetings in Bangkok in September-October and in Barcelona in November.

U.S. deputy special envoy Jonathan Pershing told reporters at a news conference in Bonn on Friday: "The U.S. is prepared to do our part. We have been an active participant in these meetings. Our goal in these sessions remains unchanged. We are seeking to conclude a strong climate change agreement that moves the world to a solution to this most urgent and pressing problem."

Swedish representative Anders Turesson, speaking for the European Union (EU), said: "The EU believes that we need an ambitious and comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen. We believe it's do-able. But it requires a difference in working modalities and a difference in pace."