By Nina Chestney
BONN, Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.N. climate talks have moved
backward rather than forward toward a hoped-for deal later this
year as nations make slow progress on pledges to cut greenhouse
gas emissions and add more proposals to the working document.
As talks in Bonn on a new climate treaty drew to an end on
Friday, the frustration of delegates with the process this week
was clearly felt, and a deal in Mexico this year looks
increasingly out of reach.
This week's meeting is the penultimate before a meeting set
for the end of November in Cancun, Mexico.
"I came to Bonn hopeful of a deal in Cancun, but at this
point I am very concerned as I have seen some countries walking
back from progress made in Copenhagen," said Jonathan Pershing,
the U.S. deputy special climate envoy.
A new climate text under discussion on the last day of talks
in Bonn has increased to 34 pages from 17, though at its peak
last year it totalled 200 pages.
The text is intended as a blueprint to guide negotiators in
overcoming rifts between rich and poor nations when they meet
again at the next session in October in China.
The pace of negotiations has slowed as some countries have
gone back on issues agreed in the Copenhagen Accord last year
and as proposals have been added to the text or reinserted.
At the time of writing, proposals for the deepest cuts in
emissions of at least 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 have
been reinserted alongside other options, after being taken out
of an earlier draft.
"The text is larger than it needs to be for us to reach an
agreement (in Cancun)," Pershing said.
"We are still having to entertain new inputs into the text,"
added Dessima Williams, chair of the Alliance of Small Island
In discussions behind closed doors, Williams said she had
not seen any clarifications from rich nations on their emissions
"We cannot anticipate any major shift from what we had in
Copenhagen, which was a 12 to 18 percent reduction when the IPCC
called for 25 percent. We are far from that in the aggregate
figures," she said.
But Pershing said discussions focused too much on putting
the onus on only rich nations to deliver cuts, rather than all
Climate finance is also an area of disagreement. The
Copenhagen Accord last December set a long-term goal of raising
$100 billion a year by 2020 to avert the effects of climate
change. It also fixed a short-term goal of $10 billion a year by
2012 to aid developing nations.
Pershing said some countries were seeking "staggering sums
out of line with reality".
Another setback to the talks arose from the lack of
legislation to curb emissions in the United States.
The U.S. Senate dropped efforts to put emissions curbs in an
energy bill that is now focused narrowly on reforming offshore
drilling, but the country has said it will stick by its 2020
target for reducing emissions.
"It has been taken as a signal by some that the process
should be slowed or we should wait for the U.S.," Williams said.
(Editing by Jane Baird)