Informal climate dialogue ends with guarded optimism

16:29, May 05, 2010      

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Though opinions were still poles asunder, participants at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue emerged from three days of discussion which ended Tuesday with guarded optimism.

They based their optimism on hopes of reviving stalled debate and rekindling practical cooperation among those who attended the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen last year.

The Petersberg dialogue was co-hosted by Germany and Mexico which is to host the follow-up to the Copenhagen conference in November.

"We succeeded in having a productive, trust-building platform," German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have made significant progress in three important fields of global climate change policy, that is, tropical forest protection, adaptation and green growth," he added.

The minister explained that France and Norway put forward an initiative on stopping deforestation while Germany pledged to provide developing countries with 350 million euros (465 million U.S. dollars) for forest protection in the next three years.

Roettgen said his country and South Africa offered a mitigation initiative aimed at "sharing our experience on sustainable development with developing countries."

But the German minister pinned sustainability on green growth. "What necessary framework is for green growth, what necessary tax incentives are to be in place, how emission trading systems work, we want to introduce German experiences on these issues," Roettgen said.

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