UN summit extends talks to push for new deal on climate change

Last Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 00:22

Warsaw: Environment ministers from more than 190 countries including India Friday extended negotiations on a final push at the UN climate summit here to lay the groundwork for a deal to tackle global warming.

Though the summit was scheduled to end at 1700 GMT (2230 IST), negotiators continued working late into the night to try and find common ground on action to be taken by 2015 to meet the UN-backed goal of curbing average global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

The deal on global warming is expected to be in place after two years. France was officially named as the host of the 2015 conference designed to seal the deal. The designation of France was approved under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Cop 19 conference at the Polish capital was meant to pave the way to a pact by the end of 2015 to limit global warming by taming carbon gases emitted by burning coal, oil and gas.

However, a draft text presented today gave only vague direction on when countries should present their targets for restricting carbon emissions.

Despite a push by the 28-countries of the European Union and the US for a clear timeline for announcing targets, the draft text said only that commitments should be presented "well in advance" of the Paris summit.

On current emissions trends, scientists warn the Earth could face warming of 4.0 C or higher
- a recipe for catastrophic storms, droughts, floods and land-gobbling sea-level rise.

But developed and developing nations are at loggerheads over sharing responsibility for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

Developing countries want wealthy nations to shoulder a bigger share of emissions cuts to make up for a long history of fossil-fuel combustion.

The rich nations, however, insists that emerging economies must do their fair share. China is now the world`s biggest emitter of CO2, with India in fourth place after the United States and Europe.

Another point of contention is money.

Developing nations are challenging wealthy countries to show how they intend to honour a 2009 pledge to muster up to USD 100 billion (74 billion euros) by 2020, up from USD 10 billion a year from 2010 to 2012.

On Wednesday, environment and developmental observer groups walked out of negotiations, saying the the two-week conference had produced little more than hot air since opening on November 11, and was "on track to deliver virtually nothing".

India fully shared the sentiments of the civil society and asked the developed nations to act in combating climate change.

"It is a matter of deep concern to my country that there has been absolutely no progress in any of the issues of interest to developing countries in this Conference of Parties," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

"Discussions on crucial issues of direct importance to developing countries like Finance, Technology and Loss and Damage have remained deadlocked due to lack of will by developed country Parties," she said in a statement here.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 00:22

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