November 15, 2009

December Climate Pact Not Likely, World Leaders Say

Several world leaders have agreed that a legally binding climate deal between nations would not be likely to be reached by next month's summit in Copenhagen.

During the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting, leaders admitted an agreement may not be reached until 2010.

"Given the time factor and the situation of individual countries we must, in the coming weeks, focus on what is possible and not let ourselves be distracted by what is not possible," said Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

"There was, I'd say, a general consensus of support for what Prime Minister Rasmussen laid out, which is -- he called it was "Ëœone agreement, two steps,' where Copenhagen would be the first step in a process towards a internationally legally binding agreement," said Mike Froman, President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser.

"I don't think the negotiations have proceeded in such a way that any of the leaders thought it was likely that we were going to achieve a final agreement in Copenhagen, and yet thought that it was important that Copenhagen be an important step forward, including with operational impact," he said.

President Obama told Reuter's last week that he would be open to appearing at the climate summit if it looks like a deal could be reached.

"If I am confident that all of the countries involved are bargaining in good faith and we are on the brink of a meaningful agreement and my presence in Copenhagen will make a difference in tipping us over the edge, then certainly that's something that I will do," said Obama.

"We believe it is better to have something good than to have nothing at all," Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez said.

Additionally, the group dropped a measure to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which did not meet well with environmental groups, such as WWF.

"We firmly reject all forms of protectionism and reaffirm our commitment to keep markets open and refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services," the leaders said.


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