New cli­mate bat­tle looms in South Africa in 2011

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

CAN­CUN: The world's gov­ern­ments face a new bat­tle in South Africa in 2011 be­tween rich and poor about slow­ing cli­mate change, buoyed by some progress in Mex­ico but with faded hopes for a new treaty in com­ing years.

In 2011, gov­ern­ments will try to build on a deal in Mex­ico to set up a Green Cli­mate Fund to help chan­nel $100 bil­lion in cli­mate aid a year from 2020, along with new sys­tems to pro­tect trop­i­cal forests and share clean tech­nolo­gies.

The two-week meet­ing in the Caribbean re­sort that ended on Satur­day showed an ever­broader be­lief that a legally bind­ing deal is far off, partly be­cause of op­po­si­tion by China and the United States, the world's top emit­ters of green­house gases.

"We still have a long and chal­leng­ing jour­ney ahead of us," said Con­nie Hede­gaard, the Euro­pean Union's Cli­mate Com­mis­sioner, of hopes for a legally bind­ing global deal.

Can­cun re­jected calls by small is­land states, which fear they will be washed off the map by ris­ing sea lev­els, to set a dead­line for a treaty when en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters next meet in Dur­ban, South Africa, in a year's time.

Op­po­si­tion in the U.S. Se­nate to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama's calls to leg­is­late curbs on U.S. emis­sions makes it hard to imag­ine a new U.N. treaty in com­ing years-it would need 67 of 100 Se­nate votes to be rat­i­fied. Dur­ban is likely to be the scene of a bat­tle be­tween de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing na­tions about how to ex­tend or re­place the U.N.'s Ky­oto Pro­to­col, which obliges nearly 40 de­vel­oped na­tions to cut emis­sions un­til Dec. 31, 2012.

Can­cun made lit­tle progress to­ward re­solv­ing splits over Ky­oto, long-term curbs on green­house gases or ways to bol­ster frag­mented car­bon mar­kets that are in­tended to drive tril­lion-dol­lar shifts in in­vest­ments from fos­sil fu­els.

All sides agreed that a main suc­cess in Mex­ico was to get the 190-nation talks back on track af­ter the U.N.'s Copen­hagen sum­mit in 2009 failed to agree a treaty and merely came up with a non­bind­ing deal among 140 coun­tries. Many of the goals adopted in Can­cun-such as lim­it­ing a rise in world tem­per­a­tures to be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 F) above prein­dus­trial lev­els, or the tar­get of $100 bil­lion in aid from 2020 --were in the Copen­hagen Ac­cord last year. -Reuters

BEI­JING: Cam­bo­dian Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen in­spects Chi­nese Peo­ple's Lib­er­a­tion Army hon­our guards dur­ing a wel­come cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple. -Ap

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