Climate talks said at crossroads

Dec. 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Expectations Low at UN Climate Talks
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DURBAN, South Africa, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Britain's climate change secretary says U.N. talks are at a crossroads and countries must decide whether they want a treaty that can really curb global warming.

"We're reaching the point at which a number of delegations have got to decide whether they want to get a treaty with real environmental integrity or not," Chris Huhne said Friday at the U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa.

The European Union has forged an ad-hoc alliance with some of the world's poorest nations to push for a strong result in Durban, admitting no big new treaty is going to be approved at this meeting but pushing for a firm timetable for creating one, the BBC reported.

"There's now a very visible high-ambition coalition that stretches across the developed world, in Europe, and the developing countries, and the real issue is whether those that have been reluctant to join in with high ambition are prepared to do so," Huhne said.

The United States, widely accused of blocking progress on a treaty, said it supported the EU concept of a timetable "roadmap."

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