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UN's Ban to lobby US Congress on climate change

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 9 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Washington on Tuesday to lobby U.S. congressional leaders and government officials over next month's climate change summit in Copenhagen, U.N. officials said.

The world body wants to clinch a deal at Copenhagen to set new greenhouse gas emissions goals but hopes are fading that a legally binding treaty among all U.N. members can be finalized at the Dec. 7-18 U.N. summit in the Danish capital.

Delays in passage of a U.S. climate bill are one of the factors being blamed. A draft cleared a key U.S. Senate panel last Thursday but the legislation is not expected to go through the full Senate before Copenhagen.

Ban's climate adviser Janos Pasztor said the secretary-general would talk to senators and White House staff.

"He will discuss how governments around the world are approaching the climate negotiations and what these governments expect in terms of the role of the United States," Pasztor told reporters.

Although top U.N. climate officials have said a final deal may have to be negotiated in post-Copenhagen talks that could go on for a year, Ban has continued to say he expects the summit to be a success.

"The continuing and extraordinary engagement by world leaders on the climate change issue suggests that a deal will emerge in Copenhagen that will form the basis of a treaty," Pasztor said.

"It's not a question of whether or not we're going to have a deal, it's question of how we're going to make sure that we get a good deal in Copenhagen. And the secretary-general is convinced that it is possible and therefore it will happen." (Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Philip Barbara) (For a TAKE A LOOK on the road to a Copenhagen U.N. climate deal, see [ID:nLL660624])

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