World leaders may drop 2010 deadline

Copenhagen climate summit: Aiming to halve emissions by 2050

World leaders may drop 2010 deadline


The failure of leading greenhouse gas emitters China and the United States to come up with new proposals further hobbled Friday’s talks. Some participants in the Dec 7-18 negotiations said they would talk for as long as necessary.
A new draft text seen by Reuters on Friday said the world should aim to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 1990 levels, with rich nations cutting their emissions by 80 percent.

In a concession to developing nations and small island states most vulnerable to climate change, it said a rise in world temperatures should be limited to 2.0 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times, with a review in 2016 that would also consider a tougher limit of 1.5 Celsius.

Earlier, Obama had addressed the conference and called for immediate action and a willingness to compromise.

“We are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides, to recognise that it is better for us to act than talk,” Obama said in a speech. “These international discussions have essentially taken place now for almost two decades and we have very little to show for it other than an increase, an acceleration of the climate change phenomenon. The time for talk is over.”

At stake is an agreement for coordinated global action to avert climate change including more floods and droughts. The talks in Copenhagen have battled suspicion between rich and poor countries over how to share out emissions cuts.

Key to deal
The environment minister of EU president Sweden, Andreas Carlgren, said the United States and China held the key to a deal. The United States had come late to the table with commitments to tackle climate change, he said. China’s resistance to monitoring was a serious obstacle.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also reiterated existing targets, although he said the world’s top carbon emitter may exceed them. “We will honour our word with real action,” Wen said. “Whatever outcome this conference may produce, we will be fully committed to achieving and even exceeding the target.” Obama and Wen then met for nearly an hour in what a White House official described as a “step forward.”

Damp squib
* Still no agreement on carbon emissions
targets
* No new commitments from China, US
* New draft drops
ambition for 2010 legally binding deal
* Proposes 2 degree
Celsius cap on warming

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