UN talks focus on deforestation

The latest round of UN climate talks in Ghana are making progress on ways to help developing nations slow deforestation, reports Alister Doyle, Reuter’s environment correspondent.

He added that delegates said the talks had also eased disputes over use of greenhouse gas targets for industrial sectors.

“It’s moving pretty well now,” Yvo de Boer, head of the UN climate secretariat, told reporters at the week-long talks.

The meeting in Accra is being held to develop a road-map for a new global climate agreement to replace the current Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

“We’re getting beyond some of the rhetoric,” he said of the 160-nation meeting among about 1,500 delegates.

“People are beginning to understand each other better.”

Accra is focusing largely on ways to encourage tropical developing nations to slow the rate of deforestation and debating whether industries such as steel, aluminium or cement should have international benchmarks for efficiency.

“The Accra meeting has been very successful so far,” said Luiz Figueiredo Machado, a Brazilian expert chairing talks on new ways for countries ranging from the United States to China to curb emissions.

Accra is not meant to end with any firm agreements.

Many delegates left the last session, in Germany in June, saying the talks were lagging in an assault on climate change that could drive more species to extinction, bring more desertification, floods, heatwaves and rising seas.

Source: Reuters

Date: 25/08/2008

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