Mexican stand-off at UN climate talks in Cancun

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Mexican stand-off at UN climate talks in Cancun

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The UN climate talks in Mexico are drawing to a close, but protestors still line the route to the venue in Cancun.

Demonstrations aside, the diplomatic pressure is now on Japan.

Those pushing for a new climate deal want Tokyo to soften its stance on the Kyoto protocol.

But Japan, along with Russia, Canada and Turkey, is against extending the 13-year old mandate.

For Tokyo’s Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto, the non-binding accord agreed in Copenhagen a year ago is more appropriate. He says it covers countries representing more than 80 percent of global CO2 emissions.

But other diplomats say there is some deadlock:

“I think there is some progress on the new text but I also think that there has not been much development in some of the areas which are very important to the European Union.” said Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action.

Germany’s environment minister netted a haul of messages in bottles from campaigners demanding a reduction in greenhouse gases.

But the impact of their efforts may be limited. Ambitions for Cancun have been modest from the outset, after disagreement in Copenhagen last year prevented a binding deal being adopted.