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Agreement on climate change,
Cancun/Brussels, Dec 11 (AGENCIES):
Published on 12 Dec. 2010 12:52 AM IST
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Agreement had not given everybody what they wanted and would require more work -Huhne-
More than 190 countries have struck a deal to tackle global warming at the latest round of UN climate talks. Described by Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne as a ‘serious package’ of measures, the deal comes at the end of two weeks of talks in Cancun, Mexico. They formed the latest attempt to make progress towards a global agreement on tackling climate change after last year’s meeting in Copenhagen failed to secure a legally-binding treaty.
Huhne said he agreement had not given everybody what they wanted and would require more work before a final meeting next year in Durban, South Africa. Environmental campaigners have said it has thrown a lifeline to efforts to get a deal to tackle climate change but there was still much work to do, in particular to close the ‘gigatonne gap’ between the greenhouse emissions cuts countries have pledged and the reductions needed to limit temperature rises to no more than 2C. The agreement acknowledges the need to keep temperature rises to 2C and bring non-binding emissions cut pledges made under the voluntary Copenhagen Accord into the UN process.
It also includes a deal to set up a green climate fund as part of efforts to deliver £60billion ($100 billion) a year by 2020 to poor countries to help them cope with the impacts of global warming. A scheme to provide financial support for countries to preserve their forests is also understood to be involved.
Earlier progress had been held up by what will be done over the existing climate treaty, Kyoto, and how major emitters such as the U.S. and China should be included in a future deal. Mexican president of the conference, Patricia Espinosa, received two standing ovations in stark contrast to the angry debates last year. Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth international climate campaigner, described the agreement as weak and ineffective - but said it gave the world a ‘small and fragile lifeline’. He warned: ‘The emissions cuts on the table could still lead to a global temperature increase of up to five degrees which would be catastrophic for hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.’
Keith Allot, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said: ‘After Copenhagen it was hoped that Cancun could establish a platform for progressing action on climate change.
‘Despite some last minute hiccups, countries leave here with a renewed sense of goodwill and some sense of purpose.’
He added: ‘The UK and EU must not squander this chance - they need to champion much more ambitious action to cut emissions and close the “gigatonne” gap.’
PM softens Jairam ‘nuance’
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday tried to straighten ruffled feathers as he said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s statements over India accepting legally bounding emission cuts should not be read too deeply. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the India-EU summit here, he said: “Don’t read too much into this”.
The Opposition on Friday had cried foul as environment minister Jairam Ramesh seemed to mellow his stand on India not accepting legally binding emission cuts at the UN summit in Cancun, Mexico. Softening his stance over the matter, Ramesh has now apparently indicated that India would be open to the concept in future. The country has so far vehemently stayed away from getting itself into such an agreement.
“All countries must take binding commitments in appropriate legal form,” Ramesh was quoted as saying at Cancun. The opposition are now seeing red over what they call a ‘sell-out’.

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