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UN climate talks reopen amid concerns over emission rise   2011-06-07 13:12:12 FeedbackPrintRSS

BONN, Germany, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The second round of the UN talks on climate change kicked off in Bonn, Germany on Monday, as new warnings of global warming pressed delegates to speed up efforts on tackling climate change.

Attended by more than 3,000 participants from more than 180 countries, the Bonn talks are aimed to lay the groundwork for the coming UN ministerial-level climate conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9.

The meeting came against a backdrop of a new warning from the International Energy Agency that the world's energy-related carbon emissions broke record highs in 2010, contrary to common estimates that greenhouse gases emission would go down amid economic recession and decade-long efforts on carbon reductions.

In the opening remarks, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said "the inconvenient truth" called on all parties to "push the world further down the right track to avoid dangerous climate change".

"I won't hear that this is impossible. Governments must make it possible for society, business and science to get this job done," she added.

Figueres said negotiators would be working hard in the next two weeks to "provide clarity on the architecture of the future international climate regime."

They would also further discuss "institutional arrangements" on adaptation, mitigation and technology, as well as the new climate financing mechanism -- the Green Climate Fund, first proposed in Cancun to help poor nations address climate change and move toward low-carbon economies.

In Cancun, developed countries said that they would offer 100 billion U.S. dollars a year for the fund, with no details on how to raise and allocate the money.

"Governments have a very ambitious agenda that goes all the way from the operational to strategic, the political and legal," said Figueres, "All of the above is actually on the table here in Bonn."

"Now, more than ever, it is critical that all efforts are mobilized toward living up to" the commitment that countries should work together to limit the global average temperature rise to no more than two degrees Celsius, she added.

Another key issue on the table of Bonn is the future of Kyoto Protocol, the only climate accord with legally-binding emission-cuts targets for developed countries which expires in 2012.

Russia, Japan and Canada have said they would not extend their commitments after 2012 unless emerging economies like China, India and Brazil accept similar mandatory caps. The United States, which refuses to ratify Kyoto, said that it would only accept a legally binding outcome that would engage all major economies.

The European Union said it would renew Kyoto Protocol only if other major economies also make significant emission-cuts commitment in the context of a global agreement using the "architecture" of Kyoto.

On the other hand, the developing countries, including the Group of 77 and China, insisted that the Kyoto Protocol must be renewed and its continuity is non-negotiable.

Most experts expected that just like Copenhagen and Cancun summits as well as the last round of talks in Bangkok in April, Bonn would not see much progress over the Kyoto issue this time, as such deep rifts between developed and developing nations have lingered for decades.

Special Report: Global Climate Change

Editor: Zhang Xiang
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