Crunch UN climate talks enter fraught final day

September 4, 2015 6:44 am
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Developing countries, in particular, were disappointed that the working document produced in Geneva in February was still essentially the same/AFP-File Tony Karumba
Developing countries, in particular, were disappointed that the working document produced in Geneva in February was still essentially the same/AFP-File Tony Karumba
BONN, Germany, Sep 4 – Frustrated negotiators enter the final day Friday of a halting round of crunch UN talks to forge a workable draft for a climate rescue pact to be inked by the year’s end.

Diplomats have lamented the “snail’s pace” of this week’s haggle in Bonn, accusing one another of rehashing well-rehearsed positions and holding up the real work of line-by-line text bartering.

Friday will be the sixth-to-last negotiating day, with five more to follow in October, before the highly-anticipated November 30-December 11 UN conference opens in Paris in the presence of heads of state.

Delegates said the Bonn preparatory round, which opened Monday, made piecemeal progress on some of the detailed discussions, but the overall objective of a universal deal remained far off.

Developing countries, in particular, were disappointed that the working document produced in Geneva in February – a laundry list of often contradictory options for solving the pressing problem of global warming – was still essentially the same.

“The time for talking about concepts and general chit chat is over,” said Gurdial Singh Nijar, a Malaysian negotiator and spokesman for the Like Minded Developing Nations bloc, which includes China, India, and many African, South American, Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

“Only through direct, inclusive and interactive negotiations will parties be able to narrow down differences, find convergence and ultimately achieve consensus,” he said in a statement.

Most developed nations, while agreeing the pace was too slow, believe line-by-line revision at this point would slow things down, and want to hand the job of reworking the text over to the co-chairmen of the UN negotiations.

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