Climate change envoys broke a deadlock at United Nations talks in Germany, with European, U.S. and island nations warning the slow pace of negotiations threatens the chance of reaching a deal at the end of the year.
After a week of wrangling about the structure of the agenda that will guide talks leading to a new climate deal in 2015, delegates at the discussions in Bonn today bridged a divide that pitted about 36 nations including China and India against the European Union, U.S. and blocs of island and developing nations.
“We’re basically going around in circles,” Colin Beck, the lead negotiator for the Solomon Islands, said in an interview in Bonn. “We virtually have postponed action. Every year we do not take action, the cost in lives and the cost to the health of the environment continues to increase.”
Negotiators are trying to set new emissions targets under the existing Kyoto Protocol treaty, define what countries without Kyoto targets will do to cut their greenhouse gas output, and devise a new climate deal by 2015 that will take effect by 2020.
“We were disappointed and frustrated that the discussions at this meeting focused largely on procedural issues,” Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. delegation chief, told reporters today in the German city, where two weeks of negotiations end today. “Parties must not renegotiate agreements we have already reached.”