Pressure builds on U.S. to contribute at Cancun

22:22, December 01, 2010      

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Delegates from both developing and developed nations have urged the United States to show sincerity and contribute more to the progress of climate negotiations at the U.N.'s climate change conference here Wednesday.

The Cancun talks, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, are aimed at finding solutions to global climate change. It has attracted about 25,000 participants from governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations and research institutions in almost 200 countries.

Hugh Montgomery, who is attending the Cancun conference as a member of the World Health Organization, said the U.S. had not done enough to deal with the impact of climate change.

Many developing countries have done more than the United States, but have to bear its critism about not performing their duties, said Montgomery, director of University College London Institute for Human Health & Performance.

Another group, ECO, supported the U.S. objective of increasing the transparency of mitigation actions by developing countries, but said it must be part of a broader framework that included greater transparency of developed country actions on both mitigation and finance. The view was contained in a report that has been published by non-governmental environmental groups at major international conferences since the Stockholm environment conference in 1972.

"Instead of pressurizing others, the U.S. should announce its willingness to increase the transparency of its own actions. Making it clear that supporting enhanced transparency for everybody includes the U.S. itself will make adoption of a balanced package of decisions here in Cancun much more likely," ECO said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has seen his climate policy thwarted by the failure of the Congress to pass legislation on cutting industrial emissions.

Heavy losses by the Democrats in the midterm elections last month to Republicans, who are more skeptical of global warming, have made more negotiators question the U.S. government's sincerity and room to move in climate negotiations.

Bolivia's ambassador the United Nations, Pablo Solon, said "U.S. responsibility goes further than just inaction, which effectively sabotaged international progress on climate change."

Su Wei, head of the climate change department of China's National Development and Reform Commission, also called on developed nations, especially the U.S., to undertake their due obligations.

Developed countries should be responsible for global warming because of the unrestrained emissions in their 200-year industralization process, he said.

The Cancun conference serves as another chance for the international community to advance the "Bali Road Map" negotiations after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last year, which failed to reach a legally binding treaty for years beyond 2012.

The negotiators at the Cancun conference will try to establish a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges rich nations except the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012, although chances are slim.

They will also deal with issues, including green technology transfer and additional financial support to developing countries.

Source: Xinhua


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