Poor nations insist on climate treaty next month

Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:23am EST


* Legally binding text still in reach

* Denmark suggests extending deadline for a year



By Alister Doyle

COPENHAGEN, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Poor nations insisted on Monday that a legally binding climate treaty is still possible in Copenhagen next month even though U.S. President Barack Obama and many other leaders reckon it has slipped out of reach.

Hosts Denmark, which says time is too short for a full deal at the Dec. 7-18 summit, suggested at a meeting of about 40 environment ministers in Copenhagen setting a deadline of perhaps another year to work out a legally binding deal.

About 40 environment ministers met for two days of talks to find ways to rescue a deal to fight global warming at a summit from Dec. 7-18 despite deadlock on issues such as cuts in greenhouse gases and funds for the poor.

"We believe that an internationally legally binding agreement is still possible," Michael Church, environment minister for Grenada who speaks on behalf of more than 40 nations in the Alliance of Small Island States, told Reuters.

"We are not moving away" from a belief that a full treaty is possible in Copenhagen, echoed Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, Sudan's U.N. ambassador who represents developing nations in the Group of 77 and China.

Developing nations say they are most at risk from heatwaves, droughts, floods, disease and rising sea levels and want the rich to take urgent action to cut emissions and come up with a binding legal text in Copenhagen.

On Sunday, Obama and other leaders at an Asia Pacific summit in Singapore supported delaying a legally binding treaty until 2010 or even later, reckoning time was too short to overcome deep splits between rich and poor. (Editing by Matthew Jones)











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