World may not do climate deal this year: U.N.

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 Yvo de Boer, told Reuters on Friday.

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

The world failed to commit in Copenhagen last month to succeed or extend the existing Kyoto Protocol from 2013. De Boer could not guarantee a deal in Mexico, the next scheduled ministerial meeting.

“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,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where business executives said they would invest in low-carbon technologies regardless of a global U.N. 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.”

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

“We will do our best,” said Calderon. “My perception is that the lack of consensus is related to the economic problems in each nation, because there are economic costs associated with the task to tackle climate change.”

“We want in Cancun a robust, comprehensive and substantial agreement,” by all 193 signatories of the U.N.’s climate convention, he said.

“We need to try to learn from our mistakes ... we need to return trust and confidence between the parties.”

The U.N.’s de Boer said countries must arrange additional meetings this year, in addition to the two already timetabled in Bonn in June, and then in Mexico if they wanted agreement.

De Boer said he was “very happy” to receive confirmation yesterday from the United States that it had beaten a January 31 deadline to submit formally its planned carbon cuts, to be written into a non-binding “Copenhagen Accord.”

Reporting by Gerard Wynn, Editing by Jon Boyle