(APW) UN Climate Chief Sees Prospects for Limited Deal



UN Climate Chief Sees Prospects for Limited Deal
2010-11-10 17:40:05.702 GMT

Amsterdam (AP) -- The United States and China, which have
clashed repeatedly at U.N. climate talks, are moving closer
toward a limited agreement at a major global warming conference
next month, the top U.N. official on climate change said
"Everything I see tells me that there is a deal to be done"
when delegates from most of the world's nations convene Nov.
29-Dec. 10 in the Mexican resort of Cancun, said Christiana
Figueres, head of the U.N. climate change secretariat.
Delegates hope to adopt a set of decisions on practical
steps toward alleviating the inevitable effects of climate
change and to slow the growth of carbon emissions that trap the
Earth's heat and contribute to global warming.
Broader ambitions for a full-scale treaty foundered at a
climate summit in December in Copenhagen, Denmark, over
differences between rich and poor countries on targets for
reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
Discussions on emissions targets are expected to continue
in Cancun, but without hope for an agreement at least until the
following year.
Figueres said countries realize the talks are too complex
for one single deal. At stake is "the transformation of the
economic patterns and the economic structures that we have
lived with for decades," she said in a conference call with
reporters from her headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
The package to be adopted in Cancun would include
transferring new technologies to developing countries,
protecting the world's rain forests and governing a climate
fund that will reach $100 billion a year by 2020, she said.
If the U.S. and China can agree on those elements, it would
open the way for others to follow, Figueres said.
The two key protagonists "are still in conversation to
clarify differences, but I am confident that they have moved
toward each other," she said, without giving details. Both are
committed to finding an agreement, and "this will open up the
possibility for all industrialized and all developing countries
to sign up to a comprehensive agreement."
One critical element in dispute is how to monitor and
verify that countries are keeping their promises to reduce
carbon emissions. China objects to intrusive observations of
its domestic policies, while the U.S. argues for transparency.
Figueres said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has
submitted a "useful" set of guidelines which could overcome the
She said the U.S. has affirmed its pledge to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels,
despite the boost in strength in Congress in elections this
month for avowed skeptics of climate change who oppose
legislation curbs.
"The U.S. has said repeatedly it will honor that pledge,"
she said.

-0- Nov/10/2010 17:40 GMT