From: Russell Blinch and Timothy Gardner, Reuters, CANCUN, Mexico
Published December 10, 2010 07:14 AM

U.N. talks on knife edge, Mexico urges agreement

Talks on a 190-nation deal to slow global warming were on a "knife edge" early on Friday as Brazil and Japan expressed guarded hopes of ending a dispute between rich and poor about curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Negotiators were set to work well into the early hours of the morning seeking to end a standoff over the future of the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, which binds almost 40 rich nations to curb emissions until 2012, before the final day of the two-week talks on Friday.


"Time is running out," Mexico's Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, who is serving as the president of the talks being held at the Caribbean beach resort Cancun, told negotiators. If the negotiators fail to reach an agreement by Friday night they must face the reality of explaining that to their societies, she reminded them.

Some of the negotiators broke into groups in an attempt to hash out issues like financing for poor countries, technology transfers, and stopping deforestation.

"Intensive consultations are taking place. We are engaging heavily with other parties. And it is a good sign," Brazil's negotiator Luiz Figueiredo said earlier at the talks. "I am very hopeful we will have a good outcome."

Brazil and Britain are leading talks on the Kyoto pact.

Japan reiterated that it will not extend cuts under Kyoto beyond 2012, a position that has angered developing nations. Tokyo insists that all major emitters including China, India and the United States must instead sign up for a new treaty.

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