U.N. climate talks agree agenda, set roadmap for 2011

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2011 10:41 AM
U.N. climate talks agree agenda, set roadmap for 2011

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Rich and poor nations overcame deep divisions on Friday by cutting a deal that maps out U.N. climate negotiations for 2011, building on last December's agreement in Mexico and hardening the focus on tougher issues.

The deal in Bangkok came after nearly four days of talks that some developing nations said were needed to "recalibrate" the U.N. climate negotiations after the Cancun agreements of last December.

They wanted an agenda that didn't just focus on building on what Cancun agreed but also tackled the fate of the Kyoto Protocol and rich nations' pledges to cut emissions, and clarified sources of cash for poorer countries.

But many rich nations said some developing nations were simply trying to row back on what was agreed in Cancun and this undermined negotiations this year that culminate in the South African city of Durban from late November.

Many nations were unhappy that much of the April 3-8 meeting was taken up arguing over the agenda, with the United States saying the delay had dampened the mood, while some developing nations had misgivings about the end result.

"It's less rosy today that when we came in (at the start of the meeting)," senior U.S. negotiator Jonathan Pershing told reporters. In particular he said some countries wanted to renegotiate the Cancun decisions.

"I don't think that's going to be constructive. What became evident is that we can expect more of that going forward," he said.

Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, chair of the Africa Group, said he had mixed feelings. "Thank god we came up with an agenda. It's a pity it took so long. What does it say for the rest of the year?"

(Reporting by David Fogarty; Editing by Andrew Marshall)