Germany, Mexico Push Climate Talks Forward

By webadmin on 09:30 pm Apr 30, 2010
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Verena Schmitt-Roschmann

Berlin. Five months after the troubled United Nations conference in Copenhagen, Germany and Mexico are teaming up in an effort to break the deadlock on a global climate deal.

They will co-host a three-day meeting in Bonn starting on Sunday of representatives from 45 selected countries with hopes of building trust and clearing some of the rubble left from Copenhagen, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said.

“The most important thing is to get the process moving again,” he said.

Momentum in the drive to control global warming has slowed in some countries. The United States still has not tackled its domestic energy bill, which climate negotiators believe will provide a critical signal about US global intentions. Australia — one of the world’s biggest per capita polluters — put off for as long as two years legislation setting up a carbon trading scheme.

Roettgen said Germany and others had not entirely given up on striking a deal at the next UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 29-Dec. 10.

“We want to pave the way to a good result in Cancun,” he said, adding: “Nobody wants another big disappointment.”

The Copenhagen conference with representatives from some 190 countries last December was originally intended to produce a new global treaty to cut greenhouse gases and set up mechanisms to deal with the worst effects of global warming. However, the two-week meeting came up with far less than hoped, setting back the schedule for action possibly by years.

A few dozen major players drafted the so-called Copenhagen Accord, which calls for global warming to be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial times.

The accord, which also included an immediate $30 billion, three-year aid package for poorer nations, failed to gain full support as some smaller countries felt left out of the process and were unhappy with the results of closed-door negotiations.

Roettgen said Germany and Mexico decided to invite only the key players for the so-called Petersberg Dialogue, named after the Petersberg mansion high above Bonn on the Rhine River.

“The international process is sounding the terrain for the proper negotiating format, and we think we have found the right format,” Roettgen said. “We believe that trust building will serve the purpose best.”

The meeting of some 45 environment ministers or high officials will be opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Felipe Calderon on Sunday.


Associated Press