Sunday, 13 December 2009

Environment ministers upbeat about chance of Copenhagen climate deal

Environment ministers arriving for climate talks in Copenhagen express hopes a global climate deal can be reached.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (DECEMBER 13, 2009) REUTERS - Environment ministers representing about 40 countries met in Copenhagen on Sunday (December 13) for informal talks to break a deadlock in negotiations to reach a deal to curb climate change.
Until now the talks have been run mostly by senior officials. Negotiators from 192 nations are trying to agree a new U.N. climate pact.

Several of the ministers and delegates arriving for the informal talks at the Danish foreign ministry expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached.

"They (heads of delegations and ministers) all express their position that they are ready with the leadership of the Danish government to play a positive and constructive role," said a representative of the Chinese delegation.

"An agreement is certainly possible. If all of us trust each other and if we have the courage and conviction, we can still come to a fair equitable deal in Copenhagen," said India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh.

However, some were more cautious.

"It takes more when it comes to emissions reductions. We have to see some of the big countries put more emission reductions on the table. I still don't think we'll receive that today but we'll push for that," added Andreas Carlgrend, the environment minister for Sweden, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency.

"We will have bilateral talks and such discussions to see where we can come together and where we have to underline our discussions," said German environment minister Norbert Roettgen.

Citizens in countries around the world are watching developments as they unfold for a sense of what their future climate may look like.

"I think there is a good spirit and there is a sense of now is the time where we have to act and work together and get the agreement that the world expects us to make," said UK climate change minister Ed Miliband.

Delegates claim progress is being made on some fronts, but the hardest decisions on sharing curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and funding to help the poor are likely to be left for the summit.