Rich and poor countries will today begin six months of negotiations for a new climate change treaty.
The June 1-12 talks in Bonn are likely to be arduous after the first draft text for a deal was widely criticised. But the head of the UN’s climate change Secretariat believes real progress has already been made. “We have on the table a negotiating text now. We’ve had first reactions from governments to that text this morning, those reactions have been constructive, they see it as a good basis for negotiation and I’m sure that that document will help us to come to a result in Copenhagen,” said Yvo de Boer. Despite finding faults, delegates accepted the draft as a starting point for talks on a treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December, but some protesters questioned whether nations are serious about tackling climate change. Greenpeace’s Martin Kaiser said: “The fresh wind that Barack Obama brought in the White House concerning climate change and the environment hasn’t reached these talks yet.” Many developing countries say rich nations should cut emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avert the worst climate change, far deeper than the cuts planned.