Saturday, November 23, 2013

U.N. Climate Talks Blocked Over Aid, Steps to 2015 Deal

Environmental activists hold placards as they protest during the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 21, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel) Click to enlarge.
The Warsaw meeting, which had been due to end on Friday but extended into Saturday morning, had little to show after two weeks except for a deal on new rules to protect tropical forests, which soak up carbon dioxide as they grow.

"On finance there has been no progress," Claudia Salerno of Venezuela, who represents a group of developing nations including China and Indonesia, said late on Friday.

In one step forward, governments agreed to a set of rules for safeguarding tropical forests in a deal aimed at unlocking big investments.  The new plan is backed by $280 million from the United States, Britain and Norway.

Deforestation accounts for perhaps a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions from human sources. Trees release carbon when they rot or burn.

Many delegates also said they wanted a clearer understanding of when nations will publish their plans for long-term cuts in greenhouse gases in the run-up to a summit in Paris in 2015.  That meeting is meant to agree on a global climate pact to enter into force in 2020.

A text on Saturday said that all nations should submit "intended nationally determined commitments" by the end of the first quarter of 2015, if they could.  That would give time to compare and review pledges before the Paris summit.

The United States is among those advocating pledges be made by the end of the first quarter of 2015. "It's something to build on," said European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who wants pledges in 2014.

U.N. Climate Talks Blocked Over Aid, Steps to 2015 Deal

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