U.N. seeks climate progress; deal may be years off
24 Nov 2010 17:22:35 GMT Reuters
* U.S.-China standoff at heart of talks
* Talks seek successor to 1992 treaty; may be years off
* World may have under-estimated Obama's problems
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The world will seek to break a U.S.-China standoff and agree modest steps to rein in global warming at U.N. talks in Mexico next week amid worries that the first climate treaty since 1992 may still be years away.
Most nations have few hopes for the meeting of environment ministers from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 in the Caribbean resort of Cancun after U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders failed to agree a treaty at last year's U.N. Copenhagen summit.
Sights are lower for Cancun, which will test the ability of the United Nations to reconcile the interests of China and the United States, the top greenhouse gas emitters, and those of 192 other nations in a 21st century world order. All have a veto.
"We have to take a few steps forward or there are people who are going to lose faith in the U.N. system," Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists.
"I'm a little depressed about Cancun," said Al Gore, the climate campaigner and former U.S. Vice President. "The problem is not going away, it's getting steadily worse."
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