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Climate

Failure looms at Doha climate talks

UN talks aimed at tackling climate change have been mired in disagreement and dragged on for far longer than expected. Efforts to agree on aid for poor countries to meet targets looked set to fail.

Local and international activists march inside a conferences center (Photo:Osama Faisal/AP/dapd)

Klimagipfel in Doha 2012 Protest

Delegates at the two-week meeting in Doha, where the aim is to find a way of extending the Kyoto Protocol, continued their talks into Saturday amid deadlock. 

Funding to help poorer countries cope with the fallout from global warming and switch to greener energy sources was a major sticking point between delegates from nearly 200 countries. "We cannot close the [negotiations] without... finance," Gambian negotiator Pa Ousman Jarju told journalists.

Developed countries are under pressure to keep a promise to raise climate funding for poorer nations to $100 billion (76 billion euros) each year by 2020.

Poorer nations say they need at least another $60 billion between now and 2015 - which would be used to tackle climate change-induced phenomena such as a rise in droughts, floods, rising sea levels and storms.

However, both the US and EU have said that, under the current financial constraints, they cannot meet that amount.

"The EU cannot accept a text that includes a commitment to $60 billion in public money in 2015 considering the budget constraints that we face," French Development Minister Pascal Canfin told journalists late Friday.

Another matter of dispute is "Hot air" - the name given to greenhouse gas emission quotas that countries were given under the first leg of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Some countries, such as Poland and Russia, have produced far less in the way of emissions than they were allowed. Moscow and Warsaw are asking to be able to bank the difference - some 13 billion metric tons - but this is opposed by most of the other members.

rc/sej (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)