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Climate

Warsaw climate talks move into overtime

Deliberations at the United Nations climate conference have extended one day past the original end date of the meeting. Delegates are said to disagree on funding for climate protection measures in developing nations.

Climate overtime in Warsaw

The climate negotiations in Warsaw continued into the early hours of Saturday morning, past the originally scheduled end of the conference on Friday. Climate negotiators from 194 nations were wrangling over key points that are meant to lay the framework for a global climate agreement to be put into effect by 2015 at a meeting in Paris.

One area of dispute deals with funding to developing nations. Wealthy nations had pledged to step up climate aid to the tune of $100 billion (74 billion euros) annually by 2020 – an increase of $10 billion a year from 2010-12. In Warsaw, developing nations sought to find out how this promise is to be kept by getting a more detailed finance plan for the years leading up to 2020.

Another sticking point is the continuing stalemate about which countries should make the deepest cuts to greenhouse emissions. Developing nations such as China argue that western countries like the US and Europe, who have been polluting the environment for far longer, should cut back the most. The counter-argument from the West is that nations such as China and India, because of their fast-paced development, have become the world's leading polluters and should scale back on harmful emissions.

Finally, there is contention about when exactly each nation should announce their climate protection goals ahead of the Paris 2015 meeting. It is hoped that a broad-reaching climate deal can be reached in Paris that can be put into effect by 2020.

The two-week meeting in Warsaw did yield some agreement with regard to climate protection. Governments agreed to new rules that protect tropical forests, which are critical to absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees also release carbon into the atmosphere when they rot or burn after being cut down.

Earlier in the week, however, representatives from environmental advocacy groups walked out of the conference in frustration over the lack of progress.

mz/ccp (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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