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Cancun climate stakes

Cancun climate stakes
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Could it be the summit to end all summits?

As 194 nations debate climate change in Cancun, Mexico, some are warning that failure to reach a deal here could jeopardize the United Nations’ role as a world forum on the issue.

But delegates seem to be dividing into opposing camps on one key topic – an extension of the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

China says some countries want to kill Kyoto.

Venezuela is fighting to save it. “For us a positive result from Cancun would be to preserve the UN convention and the Kyoto Protocol. We think it can be improved, and reinforced, but under no circumstances be destroyed,” said their delegation chief, Claudio Salerno.

Outside the summit walls activists are doing their best to get their message across with staged events and demonstrations.

But inside it is feared that Kyoto might stall progress on other issues like climate aid and forests. Delegates have until Friday to try to make sure that does not happen.