Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Cameron: Talks are step forward

Hard work needed before next climate talks, said David Cameron
Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne says the global warming deal was a 'breakthrough'
A giant balloon rises next to the Chichen-Itza pyramids in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. (AP)

More hard work is needed before the next round of UN climate talks, Prime Minister David Cameron said after an agreement was struck that puts efforts to secure a new international deal on global warming back on track.

More than 190 countries meeting in Cancun, Mexico, agreed on a series of measures which make progress towards a new global deal on tackling climate change - including action to cut emissions, providing money for poor countries and reducing deforestation.

The success in Mexico was hailed by Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne as a "breakthrough" and comes after last year's high-profile meeting in Copenhagen failed amid chaotic scenes to secure a new legally-binding global treaty on cutting emissions.

Attention will now turn to the next round of UN climate talks next year in Durban, South Africa, where officials will have to address key differences between countries, such as what form a new treaty on fighting global warming could take.

Mr Cameron said the Cancun agreement was a significant step forward in renewing the determination of the international community to work together to tackle climate change.

"Now the world must deliver on its promises. There is more hard work to be done ahead of the climate change conference in South Africa next year. I am clear that Britain will meet its international obligations. This will be the greenest government ever. And I will continue to make the case for a global, comprehensive and legally-binding climate agreement," he said.

The agreement acknowledges the need to keep temperature rises to 2C and for global emissions to peak and fall as soon as possible. It brings non-binding emissions cuts pledges made under the voluntary Copenhagen Accord, hammered out in the dying hours of last year's conference, into the process of achieving a new UN treaty.

The deal includes an agreement to set up a green climate fund as part of efforts to deliver 100 billion US dollars (£60 billion) a year by 2020 to poor countries to help them cope with the impacts of global warming and develop without polluting.

The agreement was reached in Mexico despite repeated objections from Bolivia. It also includes a scheme to provide financial support for countries to preserve their forests, in a bid to combat deforestation which accounts for almost a fifth of global annual emissions.

Mr Huhne said the agreement got the "show back on the road" and gave a new sense of momentum going forward to Durban - though he said it was too early to say what could be achieved in South Africa.

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