New climate talks set for 2010 in Cancun, Mexico
About 175 nations agreed a plan Sunday to salvage climate talks after the Copenhagen summit but the U.N.'s top climate official predicted a full new treaty was out of reach for 2010.
Delegates at the April 9-11 talks, marred by late-night wrangling between rich and poor nations on how to slow global warming, agreed to hold two extra meetings in the second half of 2010 after the December summit fell short of a binding deal.
The extra sessions, of at least a week long each, and a linked plan to prepare new draft U.N. climate texts would help pave the way to the next annual meeting of environment ministers in Cancun, Mexico, November 29-December 10.
"We had an outcome that was pretty positive. That is a good augury for what comes next," said Jonathan Pershing, head of the U.S. delegation. He said it was "a pain in the neck" that it took so long but noted U.N. climate talks were often sluggish.
"We have made substantial progress in the resuscitation of a positive spirit," said Dessima Williams of Grenada, who chairs the Alliance of Small Island States. The disputes showed that "multilateralism is very slow and complicated."
Earlier, the U.N.'s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, said governments should focus on practical steps in 2010, such as aid to poor nations to cope with the impacts of climate change, protection of tropical forests or new clean technologies.
"I don't think Cancun will provide the final outcome," de Boer told Reuters on the sidelines of the talks, the first since Copenhagen and intended to rebuild trust after the summit.
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