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Another attempt to strike climate deal

world Updated: Oct 19, 2009 00:24 IST

AP
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Representatives of the world’s 17 biggest and most polluting nations gathered on Sunday to search for a breakthrough on financing efforts to contain climate change and reduce gas emissions causing global warming.

Pressure has been mounting for the US to finalise its position before a decisive December conference in Denmark meant to cap two years of negotiations on a global climate change treaty.

‘’With only 50 more days to go before the final talks at Copenhagen, we have to up our game. Britain is determined to throw everything at this because the stakes are so high,’’ British Environment Minister Ed Miliband said in a statement released on Sunday.

Earlier Miliband had said it was ‘’important that the US makes as much progress as possible’’ at the two-day meeting of the Major Economies Forum.

The Obama administration said the pace of its action was determined by the US Congress, where climate bills were making their slow way toward legislation — an argument which cut little ice with other negotiators.

‘’The rich countries of the Major Economies Forum must urgently put new money on the table to ensure the developing world can grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change, which are already putting millions of lives at risk,’’ said Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth.

Miliband said there had been some progress. ‘’We have seen countries moving toward each other: India, Japan, China and Indonesia have all made significant shifts in the past few weeks,’’ Miliband said.

‘’As the deadline races toward us, it becomes more important to narrow the gaps between countries as fast as we can,’’ he said.

One further negotiating session is set for November in Barcelona, Spain. But pessimism was mounting that a deal can be struck without policy changes at the highest level.

‘’In recent months, the prospects that states will actually agree to anything in Copenhagen are starting to look worse and worse,’’ Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN scientific panel studying climate change, wrote on the Newsweek website posted on Friday.