Doha climate talks to end with weak commitment by rich nations

 
 

The United Nations climate talks in Doha entered the final stage Saturday with drafts of the low- ambitious second period of Kyoto Protocol and weak commitment on climate finance after overnight negotiations on differences between developed and developing countries.

The closing of two-week meeting in the Qatari capital was delayed for almost a whole day as diplomats from more than 190 countries were pressing for any small progress after the draft conclusion was not presented until Saturday morning.

One of the little progress of the talks is the Kyoto Protocol's extension by another eight years from Jan. 1, 2013, through 2020 as its first commitment period expires in the end of this year, according to the draft conclusion.

The treaty, the only UN plan that obliges developed nations to cut carbon emissions, is a vital step towards a new global UN deal to be agreed in 2015 and to enter into force in 2020.

The European Union-led group including Australia have pledged to join the second period of the Kyoto Protocol, while the United States, Japan, Canada and Russia, among others, insist on keeping away from the treaty despite international criticism.

However, no tougher emission reduction goals were announced by the developed countries in Doha, although they are urged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent to 40 percent below 1990 by 2020.

On the issue of how the developed world help developing countries respond to climate change, European countries including Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark have announced to provide financial assistance worth several billion euros, although the amount is far from enough.

The developing nations complain that the large amount of money promised by rich donors have not materialized. Developed countries have pledged a total of 30 billion U.S. dollars called "Fast Start " fund from 2010 to 2012, and a scale-up of the aid to 100 billion dollars per year by 2020.

As the draft agreement showed, no agreement turned out at the Doha talks on how to bridge the funding gap from next year, with the United States, Europe and other developed nations citing economic slowdown as the excuse for refusal to provide more.(2012-12-09 Xinhua)

 
     
 
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