UN chief says Cancun climate meet may not get deal

Mon Aug 9, 2010 7:28pm GMT

* Need to be "practical and realistic," Ban says

* UN chief launches "global sustainability" panel

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged on Monday that a key U.N. conference on climate change in Mexico at the end of this year might not produce the definitive agreement the world body is seeking.

The admission brings Ban, who ultimately is responsible for global climate change negotiations, in line with the view of many national negotiators and some of his own officials.

Attention has focused on the Nov. 29-Dec. 10 meeting in Cancun, Mexico, since a U.N. summit in Copenhagen last December fell short of a legally binding deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

"We need to be practical and realistic," Ban told a questioner at a monthly news conference at U.N. headquarters on Monday. "It may be the case that we may not be able to have that comprehensive binding agreement in Cancun."

Ban's comment followed a climate meeting in Bonn, Germany, last week where delegates said the talks on pledges to cut greenhouse gases had moved backward rather than forward.

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said at that meeting that goals at Cancun should include a mandate to move toward an all-embracing agreement, "which would take more time." Another focus should be getting countries to deliver on past promises on climate aid and protecting forests, she has said.   Continued...

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