From: Gerard Wynn, Reuters
Published June 1, 2010 06:44 AM

Climate talks open in Bonn

U.N. climate talks opened on Monday, exposing familiar rifts between rich and poor countries which delegates said were likely to delay a re-start of formal negotiations.

The 185-nation Bonn conference, which will run until June 11, is the biggest international meeting on climate change since a summit last December in Copenhagen failed to agree a new pact.

Several countries said they could not give a green light to formal negotiations on a new text published in mid-May and which outlines a huge range of options for fighting climate change.

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The Copenhagen summit last year struggled to overcome suspicion on how to share global effort to curb greenhouse gases under a new deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.

On Monday differences re-emerged when a clutch of Latin American countries said they could not start negotiations on the new text.

The United States said it did not think the new text was intended as a basis for negotiations and South Africa said the document put too much burden on developing countries.

The Latin American group including Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba said on Monday that the new text placed too much emphasis on the Copenhagen accord, which they opposed in December.

"The chair has prioritized the Copenhagen Accord," said Rene Gonzalo Orellana Halkyer, a member of the Bolivian delegation, speaking on the sidelines of the talks in Bonn.

Bolivia also wanted tougher targets, for example to return atmospheric greenhouse gases to a level far below where they are already, he added.

The Copenhagen Accord seeks to limit a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial times but does not spell out how.

Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe chairs the U.N. talks on forging agreement on global action and is expected to release a revised version next weekend, delegates said.

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64U3ID20100531

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