Friday, May 25, 2012

Climate talks stall with nations 'wasting time'

The latest round of UN climate talks has made little progress, observers say.

The meeting in Bonn, Germany saw angry exchanges between rich nations, fast-industrialising ones and those prone to climate impacts.

Campaigners spoke of a “coalition of the unwilling” including the US, China, India and several Gulf states.

Developing countries are also concerned about the lack of firm pledges on finance beyond the end of this year.

This was the first negotiating meeting since last December’s ministerial summit in Durban, South Africa.

The key outcome there was an agreement to begin talks leading to a new global deal involving all nations.

The “Durban Platform”, as it is known, will see the agreement tied up by 2015 and coming into force by 2020.

Opening the Bonn session, UN climate convention (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres told negotiators that progress depended on ambition - “ambition to support developing countries, ambition to mobilise finance and… ambition to decisively and tangibly reduce emissions according to what science demands”.

By the end, several observers including Tove Maria Ryding of Greenpeace International concluded that ambition had been largely absent.

“It’s absurd to watch governments sit and point fingers and fight like little kids while the scientists explain about the terrifying impacts of climate change,” she said. More