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Environment

FACTBOX: Results of U.N. climate talks

(Reuters) - A 189-nation U.N. climate meeting in Poznan, Poland, wound down on Saturday with agreement on the launch of a tiny fund to help developing countries prepare for global warming.

The main task of the meeting was to review progress in a two-year push toward a new U.N. climate treaty to be agreed in Copenhagen in December 2009 to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Following are the main outcomes of the meeting --

ADAPTATION FUND

The fund will help poor nations adapt to the impacts of global warming such as more droughts, floods and rising seas. The fund will be able to draw on existing credits worth about $80 million and this could rise to $300 million a year by 2012. U.N. projections are that poor nations will need tens of billions of dollars a year by 2030 to cope with climate change.

CARBON MARKETS

Under a Kyoto Protocol carbon offsetting scheme, rich countries can lay off their emissions by investing in cuts in the developing world, for example building windfarms.

That scheme has been criticized for delays in project approval by a U.N.-run vetting panel. The meeting said the panel must speed up its work.

The meeting delayed decisions on whether to allow coal plants to earn carbon offsets under the clean development mechanism by burying the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide underground, called carbon capture and storage.

It delayed deciding whether to allow projects to plant trees on deforested land, and delayed until 2009 a decision whether to allow new projects to sell carbon offsets from destroying potent greenhouse gasses called HFCs.

TIMETABLES

The talks agreed to work out by June a first draft text of the climate pact to be agreed in Copenhagen. They agreed to hold a meeting in March 29-April 8 in Bonn, Germany, another in Bonn from June 1-12 and a third in August/September.

The new climate treaty will be agreed in Copenhagen at talks from December 7-18, 2009, a week later than originally planned.

An 84-page list of the main proposals for the new climate pact -- compiled from thousands of pages of documentation -- swelled to more than 100. It would be cut in coming months.

FORESTRY

The talks made little progress on proposals to include tropical forests in a new treaty. Forests soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide as they grow. A Poznan text added a mention of a “need to promote the full and effective participation of indigenous people and local communities.”

But indigenous people objected that it stopped short of talking about their “rights” to land.

KYOTO NATIONS

Backers of the Kyoto Protocol, the current U.N. plan for fighting global warming until 2012, agreed that a new period beyond 2012 should focus on deeper cuts in emissions rather than, for instance, other yardsticks such as the amount of carbon emitted per dollar of economic output.

The group reiterated a 2007 statement that rich nations would have to cut emissions on average by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst impacts of global warming under scenarios by the U.N. Climate Panel. Almost no countries are considering such deep cuts.

-- For Reuters latest environment blogs click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/

Compiled by Alister Doyle and Gerard Wynn

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