World may not do climate deal this year

Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:16pm EST
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By Gerard Wynn

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Global climate talks may have to continue into 2011 after failing last month to agree on a Kyoto successor, the U.N.'s climate chief and Denmark's new climate minister told Reuters on Friday.

The world failed to commit in Copenhagen last month to succeed or extend the existing Kyoto Protocol from 2013. The U.N.'s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, could not guarantee a deal in Mexico, the next scheduled ministerial meeting.

A lack of trust and the economic crisis complicated prospects for a deal in Mexico in December, added President Felipe Calderon, the prospective host of those talks.

"Whether we can achieve that in Mexico or need a bit more time remains to be seen and will become clearer in the course of the year," de Boer said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where executives said they would invest in low-carbon technologies regardless of a global climate deal.

"It's very difficult to pin down. One of the lessons from Copenhagen was don't rush it, take the time you need to get full engagement of all countries and make sure people are confident about what is being agreed."

India's top climate envoy Shyam Saran said on Thursday that that the world would "probably not" agree an ambitious deal this year unless the global economy improved.

Deadlock last month centered on how far big emerging economies should follow the industrialized world and enforce binding actions to fight climate change.

Denmark holds the presidency of the U.N. process until the Cancun meeting. Its new climate minister, Lykke Friis, agreed it was too soon to be sure of success in Mexico.   Continued...

<p>A worker clears water hyacinths in Yaojiang River in Ningbo, Zhejiang province November 25, 2009. REUTERS/Steven Shi</p>