UN Climate Delegates Meet Informally in Copenhagen

Delegates to the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen held informal talks Sunday, during a one-day break from negotiations aimed at crafting a new global climate change treaty.

As the 12-day conference entered its second week, analysts reported little progress in replacing the current treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.  

They say the conference gained sharper focus on Friday, with the release of a draft charter outlining ambitious carbon gas reductions over the next four decades.

Under that draft, industrialized nations would reduce carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 25 to 45 percent over the next decade.  Major developing economies such as China and India would reduce theirs by 15 to 30 percent.  Further cuts would be mandated until 2050.

However, the draft does not specify how much money rich countries will give poorer ones to cope with the effects of global warming.

Funding proposals are a key point of contention between delegates from industrialized countries and those from developing economies.  Some analysts have predicted those differences are great enough to wreck any chances for a meaningful pact this week.

More than 100 heads of state and government are due to attend the final days of the conference, which ends Friday.  U.N. officials and world leaders have said they are confident a workable draft will be in place by then.

Police in Copenhagen have released hundreds of activists detained Saturday during a mass demonstration demanding progress at the conference. Police detained about 200 others on Sunday.

Some 40,000 people joined the mostly peaceful protest march toward the assembly hall where the delegates from 192 nations are meeting.

Similar protests were held in Australia, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and other countries.   

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters .

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