UN climate talks end with small signs of progress

December 13th, 2008 - 9:53 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaPoznan (Poland), Dec 13 (DPA) A UN climate conference ended early Saturday with a deal to help poor countries fight floods, drought and storms, but little progress on cuts in emissions blamed for global warming.After two weeks of talks, the 189-nation meeting brought few advances on the most contentious issues, in part because other countries are waiting for Barack Obama to take over as US president Jan 20.

The conference was part of efforts to bring about a global deal next December for industrialised and developing countries to cut output of heat-trapping gases, mainly carbon dioxide created when fossil fuels burn.

Delegates late Friday passed a work plan that confirms the 2009 target date and outlines the path for intense negotiations next year.

In a bid to reach out to poor countries, the European Union agreed Friday to activate a $60-million fund to help them tackle the impact of global warming with measures such as seawalls.

Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, who chaired the talks, said the deal would help ease an overall agreement due next year at Copenhagen, Denmark.

“It is a very big achievement,” he told the final session. “This will lay the necessary groundwork for an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen.”

But industrialised countries refused calls by developing nations for a massive aid boost to help them fight the impact of climate change, drawing bitter complaints from India, Pakistan, Gabon, Maldives and others.

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