Countries Struggle on Climate Change at U.N. Climate Change Talks in Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov. 5 (UPI) — African nations walked out of U.N. climate change talks in Barcelona, Spain, threatening to do so again unless wealthy nations commit to cutting carbon.

This week’s Barcelona meeting is the last gathering before the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

The sticking point is over how much developed nations are willing to cut greenhouse gases, The Daily Telegraph said. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended that developed nations reduce their emissions by between 25 percent and 42 percent by 2020 based on 1990 levels.

However, most of the wealthy nations haven’t agreed to the reduction levels, the British newspaper said. The European Union committed to cuts of between 20 percent and 30 percent. The United States can’t commit to anything until Congress passes energy legislation, and also is unlikely to cut emissions in the panel-suggested range.

Delegates also must determine how much developed nations are willing to help underwrite poorer nations to address climate change. So far, only the European Union has committed funds.

“The poor countries are basically saying to the rich nations stop delaying and put some figures on the table or the negotiations are in danger,” said Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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