April 1, 2010 in Nation/World

Prospects poor for quick climate deal

Associated Press
 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A new legal agreement committing nations around the world to curb greenhouse gas emissions is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2011, two years later than originally envisioned, the top U.N. climate official said Wednesday.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. climate change secretariat, said countries need to restore confidence in U.N. negotiations following the dismal results of the Copenhagen summit in December, which ended in a vague agreement of principles and a pledge of finances for poor countries most threatened by climate change.

“There was a great deal of frustration at the end of the Copenhagen conference in terms of process,” de Boer said in a conference call with reporters.

The next annual conference in Cancun, Mexico, beginning in November should get negotiations “back on track” among the 194 participating nations, with the aim of agreeing on the main elements that could be enshrined in a binding agreement a year later in South Africa, de Boer said.

Negotiators will convene in Bonn, Germany, next week for the first time since 120 heads of state and government met in the Danish capital. The weekend conference was expected to do little more than set a timetable for several more preparatory conferences leading up to the Cancun conference.

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