17 September 2009

World’s key polluters start climate talks in US

Representatives of the world's 17 biggest carbon polluters were due Thursday to kick off a week of high-level and high-stakes talks on climate change at a meeting in Washington.

The aim of the talks, which will be held for two days at the State Department before moving to New York next week and then to Pittsburgh, is to try to patch up differences and generate momentum for a much heralded meeting in Copenhagen in December, where a UN conference hopes to produce an ambitious new pact rolling back global warming.

The meetings come as Washington tries to resume a leadership role on climate change, and follow a warning from UN chief Ban Ki-moon that world leaders need to "get moving" on climate change.

"It is absolutely and crucially important for the leaders to demonstrate their political will, leadership, and to give clear political guidelines to the negotiators," Ban told British newspaper The Guardian Wednesday, adding that he was "deeply concerned" that talks on global warming are not making much headway.

The Guardian also reported that Europe has clashed with the US administration over how to cut emissions and tackle global warming -- reports which, if true, suggest talks will be tense over the next week.

The European Union, France, Italy, Germany and Britain will be among participants at the talks at the State Department, along with Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and host, the United States.

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Source: AFP

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