Deadlock breaks at UN climate talks, mistrust remains

Fri May 25, 2012 2:16pm GMT

By Nina Chestney

BONN (Reuters) - More than 180 countries agreed on an agenda for work on a new climate treaty by 2015 at United Nations climate talks on Friday, breaking a deadlock over procedure, but mistrust remains that could threaten progress for the rest of the year.

"(The workplan) was not an easy issue to agree (on)," U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres told reporters after the negotiations held at Bonn in Germany.

"All parties needed reassurances from each other to allow them to undertake the work with a certain sense of comfort."

U.N. climate talks in South Africa last year agreed a package of measures that would extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol after it expires at the end of this year and decide a new, legally binding accord to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 2015, coming into force by 2020.

In the Bonn talks, the first negotiation session since that deal was struck, delegates have argued for over a week on how to organise work on a new climate deal and appoint a chair to steer the process.

Procedural wrangling during the two-week session, attended by national negotiating teams below ministerial level, has shown there is mistrust among participants and heaps pressure on ministerial talks in Doha, Qatar, at the end of the year to deliver, observers said.

"When people start fighting about agendas it is a symptom of lack of trust and of some pretty substantive areas of disagreement," said Celine Charveriat, director of advocacy and campaigns at international development charity Oxfam.

The European Union and others have accused China, along with   Continued...

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