UN Climate Talks: The Never-Ending Story

  • Date: 08/04/10

Climate negotiators meet in Bonn on Friday for the first time since the fractious Copenhagen summit but with scant hopes of patching together a new legally binding U.N. deal in 2010.

Delegates from 170 nations gathered on Thursday for the April 9-11 meeting that will seek to rebuild trust after the December summit disappointed many by failing to agree a binding U.N. deal at the climax of two years of talks.

Bonn will decide a programme for meetings in 2010 and air ideas about the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, backed by more than 110 nations including major emitters China, the United States, Russia and India but opposed by some developing states.

The Accord seeks to limit world temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), but without saying how.

“We need to reassess the situation after Copenhagen,” said Bruno Sekoli of Lesotho, who speaks on behalf of the least developed nations who want far tougher cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5 C.

Many nations favour progress on practical steps in 2010, such as aid to developing nations to combat climate change that is meant to total about $10 billion a year from 2010-12 under the Copenhagen Accord, rising to $100 billion (65.7 billion pounds) a year from 2020.

Delegates said perhaps two extra sessions of talks were likely to be added before the next annual ministerial talks in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29-December 10. That would mean a less hectic pace than last year’s run-up to Copenhagen.

“There has been a constructive attitude” in informal preparatory talks in Tokyo and Mexico, said Harald Dovland, a Norwegian official who is the vice-chair of U.N. talks on a new deal to succeed the existing Kyoto Protocol.

But it is unclear what will happen to the Copenhagen Accord.

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