(Reuters) - Delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bangkok are trying to whittle down a complex negotiating text that will form the basis of a broader global pact to curb the pace of climate change.
The two-week talks are crucial because negotiators have very little time to trim the options and alternative wording proposals in the 180-page text with just over two months to go before a December 7-18 climate meeting in Copenhagen.
The United Nations has set the Copenhagen gathering as the deadline to try to reach a broad agreement on a replacement pact for the Kyoto Protocol.
Following are some of the main issues being discussed in Bangkok.
This is the glue that will hold any new pact together. Developing nations are demanding rich countries offer new and substantial annual funds to help them adapt to climate change and to help them green their economies without sacrificing growth.
Failure by rich nations to implement immediate, far-reaching actions to cut their emissions would only increase the need for poorer countries to adapt to the impact of climate change and therefore increase costs, the text says.
Poorer nations as well small-island states are seen as the most vulnerable to greater extremes of weather, rising seas and changes in rainfall patterns.
Estimates for long-term financing are in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year but as yet no firm amounts have been pledged in the negotiations by individual countries. That is expected to come in the final hours of the Copenhagen talks.
Nor is it clear how much of the money will be public funds or come from revenue generated by carbon markets or other sources.
The rules governing the allocation of funds have also not yet been decided, nor have governments agreed to beef up existing institutions or create new ones to manage the money and low-carbon programmes.
Any post-Kyoto agreement will need to include steps by big developing nations such as India and China to curb emissions and to help them acquire technology to substantially cut emissions.
But developing nations won’t accept binding emissions targets and have instead pledged to take a range of voluntary steps mandated by their governments, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes.
Negotiators in Bangkok will be focused on designing what they call a legal framework or architecture that will encourage developing nations to sign up.
Kyoto backs economy-wide emissions reduction efforts for rich nations but many developing nations say they won’t sign up to such steps in a broader climate pact.
Some nations have proposed a flexible arrangement that allows all nations to set verifiable national action plans to curb emissions. These could be entered into a registry that lists low-carbon strategies.
The idea would be to structure a climate pact that would allow easy amendment of national actions to fight global warming to take into account increased efforts over time.
There’s growing interest among many nations to create a scheme that rewards developing nations for saving their forests, which soak up vast amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide.
The U.N.-backed reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) scheme has not yet been integrated into the next climate pact and the number of credits the scheme could generate annually and the value of the credits remain unclear.
A market-based scheme could potentially generate billions of dollars in annual funds for poorer nations from the sales of carbon credits.
Issues surrounding the rules governing the design and monitoring of REDD projects also remain unclear.
Editing by Dean Yates