Germany, Mexico co-host high-level climate dialogue

11:43, May 03, 2010      

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With a view to reviving global climate talks, Germany and Mexico co-hosted a three-day ministerial-level meeting of 45 nations in Bonn on Sunday, calling on nations to flesh out common grounds before the next UN summit in Cancun.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue, named after the meeting place of Petersberg Hotel, Germany's former government guesthouse in Bonn, invited environment ministers or high-level representatives from some 45 countries, including China, the United States, India and South Africa.

It was the highest-level climate gathering since the Copenhagen summit in December 2009, which fell short of reaching a legally- binding deal on climate change. The next UN climate summit is to be held in Cancun, Mexico in late November.

"A preparatory job before Cancun will be to find a basis of trust for all countries that will be present in Cancun so that no one feels left out," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a keynote address at the meeting.

"We have to realize that we have quite a long way to go to reach the 2-degree-goal," she said, referring to the global warming cap of 2 degrees Celsius set in the Copenhagen Accord, which has been signed by 111 countries and the European Union.

"There is no alternative to the UN process," the chancellor said, excluding other possible formal tracks on global climate negotiations. "In the end all of this has to go into one UN process."

Sunday's meeting was jointly launched by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who also made an opening speech.

"We need to show the world how serious the threat is," he said, stressing the importance of rebuilding trust between developing and developed countries.

The Petersberg gathering is an informal conference and will not put forward official statements. However, the meeting could send a "clear message on whether it will be possible to reach a uniform agreement," said Norbert Roettgen, Germany's environment minister.

"We want to pave the way to a good result in Cancun, and to get trust and flexibility back into the climate process," he said in earlier statements. "Nobody wants another big disappointment."

Source: Xinhua


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