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10 years needed to seal climate cuts, says UN pointman

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) June 7, 2010
The world community may need another 10 years to agree on carbon cuts deep enough to roll back global warming, the UN's pointman for climate change warned on Monday.

"I don't see the process delivering adequate mitigation targets in the next decade," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said in a webcast from Bonn.

"Over the longer term, I think we will get this issue under control. Having said that, I do believe that it's a longer journey," de Boer said.

De Boer spoke on the sidelines of a 12-day round of negotiations for a post-2012 treaty to curb "greenhouse" gases blamed for disrupting Earth's climate system.

The pact was supposed to have been sealed at a summit in Copenhagen last December, but the negotiations failed.

De Boer, stepping down at the end of this month, said that Copenhagen had yielded some progress.

In its final hours, the leaders of industrialised countries acknowledged behind closed doors the need for rich economies to make cuts of 80 percent in their emissions by 2050, he said.

And developing countries also saw the need to "make a serious contribution" by reining in their own expected growth in carbon pollution, he added.

"I think that in this process we will need a number of steps and phases to get to that ultimate response, but I am confident that we will get there in the longer run," de Boer said.

The Bonn talks, taking place at the level of senior officials, have been branded by caution after Copenhagen's setback.

Negotiators are now endorsing a evolutionary process that, at best, will seal a deal in South Africa at the end of 2011. But in any case, they say, the treaty would have to be followed by further negotiations for deepening emissions reductions to a safe level.

The Bonn meeting is also debating funds to help poor countries facing worsening drought, flood and rising seas.

In Copenhagen, the European Union (EU), the United States, Japan and other wealthy countries pledged 30 billion dollars in aid from 2010-2012, with a vaguer promise of mustering 100 billion dollars a year by the end of the decade.

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