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Senior negotiators at a U.N. conference in Barcelona say a legally
binding environment treaty will be delayed. In the final day of a
weeklong conference, world leaders say a global climate treaty might be
postponed by up to a year.
Delegates have been in Barcelona all week to hash out a plan
that would pave the way for 192 nations to sign a legally binding
international climate deal next month.
But now executive
secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Yvo de Boer
says any decision taken next month in Copenhagen will instead be
"morally binding." And a legally binding deal may take another year to
put in place.
Speaking in India, Sweden's prime minister Fredrik
Reinfeldt told journalists the setback comes because some countries are
not politically ready to sign a deal.
"What we hear is that
the kind of legally binding agreement that we, for instance, did inside
the European Union, will probably not be possible since some of the
countries like the United States say we do not have the support in our
congress to make a ratification on an international agreement," he said.
speaking from Barcelona, Hugh Cole of the charity group Oxfam, says
European leaders need to focus on their own lack of political will.
"As far as we're concerned they're basically hiding behind the United State's lack of ambition," he said.
says the mood at the conference today is one of disappointment. And he
says it's developing countries that will be worst hit by this delay.
also seeing a clash between politics and special interests in rich
countries contrasted very sharply with real impacts for people in the
developing world," said Cole.
"We're talking about farmers who are
losing their crops; we're talking about people who are having to learn
to live with more frequent drought and floods. We're talking about more
natural disasters, increased levels of disease. These are impacts that
are being felt here and now in the developing world," he added.
this week African delegates boycotted some talks because they said
developed nations were not making concrete promises on cutting
greenhouse gas emissions. They also say rich countries must make
financial pledges to help developing countries deal with the changes
brought by climate change.
The European Union has said that
developing nations will need almost $150 billion in aid per year by
2020 to deal with climate change.
Cole says there is still potential for a good climate deal in Copenhagen next month.
is currently being discussed is that you would have a second commitment
period of the Kyoto Protocol, which doesn't currently include the
United States, and then you would have a separate agreement which would
bind the U.S. into its own omission reduction targets," he said.
The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding treaty agreed to by 37 countries in 1997. The current goals of the treaty end in 2012.