Activists head to Cancun as talks hit obstacles

More than 400 environmental activists left Mexico City in a convoy headed to a UN climate conference in Cancun.

Mexico City: More than 400 international environmental activists left Mexico City Wednesday in a convoy headed to a UN climate conference in Cancun, where they plan to meet Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Some 14 buses transported activists from Latin America, Europe and Asia on a more than 1,000-mile (1,700-kilometer) journey from Mexico City, to include stops in several cities on the way to the Caribbean coast.

"We`re going to meet on December 7 with (Bolivian) President Evo Morales, who is the only president who has shown his intention to attend the conference (apart from Mexican President Felipe Calderon)," said Alberto Gomez, spokesman for the organizers, La Via Campesina, an international movement of farm workers and peasants.

"We`re going to demand that governments find real mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent instead of a market of quotas that`s on the table, which will only serve to increase the earnings of multinational companies," Gomez said.

Farm workers already suffer directly from climate change through worsening natural phenomena like hurricanes and droughts, he added.

The convoy set off as the world climate talks already struck a sour note on their third day, as Japan was accused of weakening the campaign for a post-2012 global emissions treaty by retreating from the Kyoto Protocol.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva meanwhile predicted the 12-day meeting "won`t result in anything," after deciding not to attend.

Bureau Report