September 9, 2018 / 11:59 AM / 12 days ago

'Good progress' at Bangkok climate talks on draft Paris accord rules: U.N. official

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A United Nations climate change meeting in Bangkok made good progress on drafting a ‘rule book’ for the implementation of the 2015 Paris accord before a summit in Poland this December, a top U.N. official said on Sunday, the last day of the talks.

FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen through evening air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha -/File Photo

The Paris agreement, which was adopted by almost 200 nations and is due to come into force in 2020, set a sweeping goal of ending the fossil fuel era this century.

“We made good progress, but we cannot sit back, we need to continue to speed up and deepen the conversation,” Patricia Espinosa, who leads the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which steers the talks, told a news conference in the Thai capital.

The negotiated text lays down the groundwork for a summit in Katowice from Dec. 2-14 at which governments will meet to agree rules on implementing the accord.

The UNFCCC earlier this week agreed to add an extra day to the December talks to allow more work to be done.  

FILE PHOTO: The Bhumibol bridge is seen through air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

“We need a streamlined draft that will assist us in Poland,” Philip S. Weech, a delegate from the Group of 77 and China, told fellow negotiators earlier in the day.

Espinosa would discuss some fundamental issues with G7 environment ministers next week, she said.

Negotiations, however still needed to “achieve full clarity in climate finance,” Espinosa said, referring to a $100 billion fund to help developing countries tackle climate change, describing funding as a “politically sensitive” issue.

Critics say that developed countries remained uncommitted over finance.  

“The U.S. is a major culprit in taking finance off the table,” Lidy Nacpil, coordinator at non-governmental organization the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, told reporters.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who in the past has described climate change as a hoax, pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement in 2017, saying it favored other countries and was disadvantageous to the United States.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Raissa Kasolowsky

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