(Bloomberg News) Lead negotiators from the U.S. and Bolivia said global climate-change talks in China are making little progress as delegates get bogged down with issues including financing and limits on carbon emissions.
Efforts to reduce output of greenhouse gases in a global treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol accord may splinter if no accord is reached at the next meetings in Cancun, Mexico, Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. deputy special envoy on climate change, said today in Tianjin.
"The consequences of not having an agreement after Cancun are something to worry about," Pershing said in a briefing with news organizations. "It may mean that we don't use this process exclusively going forward."
Officials from about 175 governments are meeting in China to craft a climate treaty and replace emissions targets set by the Kyoto Protocol that expire at the end of 2012. Talks in Copenhagen broke down last year over targets for industrialized nations and verification of output cuts in developing countries.
Bolivia's delegation chief said little progress is possible unless developed countries pledge bigger cuts.
"We don't see any kind of movement from developed countries to increase the level of emissions reduction," Pablo Solon, Boliva's ambassador to the United Nations, said. "If we had a set of commitments that assured developing countries that the measures will cool the planet, these talks would be moving very well."
The U.S. pledge to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels remains a sticking point in the talks, Solon said. The vow amounts to a 3 percent reduction from 1990 levels, less than the 5 percent required under the Kyoto Protocol, which the U.S. didn't ratify.
Commitments remain insufficient to limit the average increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a target that was agreed Copenhagen last year.
The Tianjin meeting is the last chance before envoys meet in Mexico for Nov. 29-Dec. 10 talks to help reach an agreement that even the UN has said is unlikely this year. The last climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 failed to produce a binding agreement even after leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama flew in to try to hammer out a deal.
Delegates this week are negotiating two draft proposals reached at a meeting in Bonn in August that need to be narrowed before Cancun, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters earlier this week.