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Gingersnap
12-06-2010, 11:27 AM
Cancún climate talks in danger of collapse over Kyoto continuation

• Latin America outraged at foot-dragging by rich
• Wealthy countries say little chance of deal now

* John Vidal, Environment editor
* The Guardian, Saturday 4 December 2010

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TOPSHOTS Members of the ONG Sierra Club Members of the Sierra Club in Cancún make their feelings clear about countries they say avoid the issue of climate change. Photograph: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

The UN climate talks in Cancún were in danger of collapse last night after many Latin American countries said that they would leave if a crucial negotiating document, due to be released tomorrow, did not continue to commit rich countries to emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (Alba) group of nine Latin American countries – who claim they are backed by African, Arab countries and other developing nations – said they were not prepared to see an end to the treaty that legally requires all of its signatories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They challenged the Mexican presidency of the UN summit to prepare a negotiating text including a commitment by rich countries to set fresh targets for a second period of Kyoto beyond 2012.

The Guardian understands that if the new text includes a reference to a continuation of the Kyoto protocol, the talks will continue. But if it omits the wording and opts only to support negotiations based on the weaker Copenhagen accord agreed last year, then developing countries are likely to stop the talks.

Mexico will publish its text on Saturday evening in preparation for the arrival of ministers from 193 countries for the high-level talks on Monday. The energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne will arrive then, leading the UK delegation.

The potential crisis was provoked by Japan stating earlier this week that it would not sign up to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Other countries, including Russia, Canada and Australia are thought to agree but have yet to say publicly that they will not make further pledges

Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/04/cancun-climate-talks-kyoto-latin-america)