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UN negotiator confident of specific climate deal

UN negotiator Yvo de Boer said at a meeting with EU ministers in Brussels that he was confident that countries will reach a specific agreement during a key climate summit in Copenhagen next month.


AFP - The UN's top climate official voiced optimism Monday that some kind of agreement could be salvaged at world talks on global warming next month, sensing US President Barack Obama will come with a target and financing.

UN negotiator Yvo de Boer has already said it would be impossible to conclude a comprehensive climate treaty during the talks opening in Copenhagen. However, ahead of a meeting with EU ministers in Brussels, he told AFP that "I think we will have a very specific agreement."

This was likely to include "a list of rich country targets (and) clarity on what major developing countries like India and China are willing to do," he said.

That optimism was boosted by "the pledges many countries are making, Brazil, (South) Korea, Russia, most recently Japan made a very encouraging announcement over financial contributions," he added.

De Boer also said that he expected "we will have clarity on finances as well, so a list of contributions."

For these goals to be meaningful and attainable then major greenhouse gas emitter United States must bring something to the table. De Boer said he was optimistic.

"The key issue here at the moment is the United States," he said.

"My sense is Obama will be in a position to come to Copenhagen with a target and and a financial contribution."

Last week Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would not enact fresh legislation on tackling climate change until next year.

"We are going to try to do that some time in the spring," Reid said, confirming that the US Congress will not adopt any such measures or legislation to combat climate change before the December 7-18 global climate change talks in the Danish capital.

"They are not going to finalise the legislation before Copenhagen, but they don't need to," said the upbeat de Boer.

"Not a single country that signed the Kyoto accord had legislation in place, they all developed the legislation afterwards and then ratified the treaty."

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