Biggest economies try again to strike climate deal

Oct 17, 2009 By ARTHUR MAX , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- The world's 17 biggest and most polluting nations meet in London on Sunday in an attempt to break a deadlock on financing efforts to contain climate change and reducing harmful gases causing global warming.

With a deadline looming, pressure was mounting on the United States to finalize its position before a decisive December conference in Denmark meant to cap two years of negotiations on a global treaty.

International negotiators showed little patience with arguments from the Obama administration that it was tied to action by Congress, where climate bills were making their slow way toward legislation.

"It's important that the U.S. makes as much progress as possible. They must come to Copenhagen with a clear sense of what they want to do," British Minister Ed Miliband told British reporters in advance of the meeting.

Negotiators working on a bulky text of an agreement will meet for the last time before the December conference in early November in Barcelona, Spain.
But pessimism was mounting that a deal can be struck without policy changes at the highest level.

"In recent months, the prospects that states will actually agree to anything in are starting to look worse and worse," Rajendra Pachauri, head of the authoritative U.N. scientific panel studying climate change, wrote on the Newsweek Web site posted Friday.

President initiated the Major Economies Forum earlier this year as an informal caucus to quietly deal with the toughest problems. Participants agree to keep the talks confidential.

A key issue is helping poor countries adapt to changes in the earth's climate that threaten to flood coastal regions, make farming unpredictable and spread diseases. They also need funds and technologies allowing them to continue develop their economies without overly increasing pollution.

Estimates range in the hundreds of billions of dollars needed annually, but negotiators were struggling to find a formula for raising, administering and distributing the funds.

Rapidly growing nations like India, China, Brazil and Mexico have agreed to draw up national strategies for slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but resist making those limits binding and subject to international monitoring in a treaty.

Industrial countries agree to reduce their own emissions, but not to the levels that scientists say are required to avert climate catastrophes.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Weird weather lingers in Alaska's largest city

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US more optimistic about climate deal after talks

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- The top U.S. negotiator on climate change said Tuesday that he is slightly more optimistic about striking a new international agreement to curb global warming after a two-day meeting with the world's largest emitters ...

US in spotlight as UN climate talks resume

Mar 29, 2009

UN talks tasked with forging a global climate treaty by year's end were set to resume here on Sunday, with all eyes on the debut appearance of US negotiators from the administration of US President Barack ...

Climate talks resume in Bangkok with deal in doubt

Sep 26, 2009

(AP) -- Two years ago, governments from around the world came together on the island of Bali and agreed to urgently rein in the heat-trapping gases blamed for deadly heat waves, melting glaciers and rising ...

US won't speed up emissions cuts

May 25, 2009

Domestic politics will not allow the United States to deepen it commitment for cutting carbon pollution over the next decade despite growing international pressure, Washington's top climate negotiator said ...

Gore, others urge CEOs to back climate change deal

May 24, 2009

(AP) -- Climate-change heavyweights U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Nobel prize winner Al Gore urged more than 500 business leaders on Sunday to lend their corporate muscle to reaching a global deal on reducing ...

Recommended for you

New challenges for ocean acidification research

23 hours ago

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

23 hours ago

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RAL
5 / 5 (1) Oct 18, 2009
"...the prospects that states will actually agree to anything in Copenhagen are starting to look worse and worse"

Nice to see some good news for a change

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.