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Climate Talks 'Too Complicated,' EU Says as UN Negotiations Slow
2010-12-06 18:19:58.532 GMT
By Kim Chipman
Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union said it's worried
United Nations climate talks in Mexico are making slow progress
and that ministers need to step up the pace of negotiations to
get an agreement on limiting global warming this week.
"The texts are still much too long," Connie Hedegaard,
the European Commissioner in charge of climate policy, said in
Cancun, Mexico, referring to UN documents published this weekend
outlining possible goals for the meeting of 193 nations. "There
are much too many options. They are still too complicated."
Countries must "step up" the pace of negotiations and be
willing to compromise on key sticking points, she said today.
The first week of the talks that started on Nov. 29 were marred
by a rift between richer and poorer nations over how to ensure
reductions in carbon dioxide emissions after the current limits
in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expire in 2012.
Bolivia today reiterated its concerns that the negotiators
aren't proposing deeper emissions cuts this week and that
wording about the "rights of nature" have been left out of the
proposed conclusions for the meeting that is due to end Dec. 10.
Bolivia's concerns are important because under the UN
rules, which require consensus, any party to the talks can hold
up progress by making a firm objection. The nation's president,
Evo Morales, will speak to the conference on Dec. 9.
"The proposals by Bolivia about other approaches to
decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases have not been
developed," said Pablo Solon, chief climate envoy for Bolivia.
"The only one discussed is a market option. The rights of
nature have been omitted."
China, India and Brazil say new commitments to limit
emissions from developed nations are essential to keep the talks
on track. Japan, Russia and Canada are resisting new pledges
under the Kyoto treaty. The U.S. never signed the accord and
remains outside that track of the negotiations.
The EU, which has committed to cutting emissions 20 percent
by 2020 from 1990 levels, is pushing to make all emissions-
reduction goals part of the official UN process. The cuts were
pledged as part of a non-binding agreement reached in Copenhagen
last year after talks for a new treaty collapsed.
"We can't leave Cancun empty-handed," Hedegaard said in a
A UN text released this weekend sketched out a compromise
between richer and poorer nations on limiting greenhouse gases.
It calls on the world to limit temperature increases since the
1700s to "below 2 degrees Celsius." Mexican President Felipe
Calderon, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Morales of Bolivia will be
among 25 leaders participating in the talks this week.
Stall in Copenhagen
Since negotiations in Copenhagen broke down last year
without a new legally binding agreement, UN officials have
scaled back the scope of the talks. This year's effort may
produce a package of measures to protect forests, verify
emissions reductions and channel $100 billion a year in aid to
nations struggling to adapt to climate change.
The rich-nation targets in the 1997 Kyoto negotiation text
range from 15 percent below 1990 levels in 2020 to 50 percent
below by 2017, according to a document on the website of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The EU has said it will boost reduction target to 30
percent if other countries also strengthen their commitments.
"What we need is that others also move," Hedegaard said.
--With assistance from Alex Morales in Cancun, Mexico. Editors:
Reed Landberg, Randall Hackley
To contact the reporter on this story:
Kim Chipman in Cancun, Mexico at +1-202-624-1927 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or