Climate negotiators get down to business in Copenhagen

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

COPENHAGEN - A group of indigenous people whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change “cleansed the spirit” of negotiators gathered Tuesday for a second day of talks in Copenhagen.

The North American natives said the purging ceremony would vest conference party leaders with “clarity, compassion, strength and perseverance” so that they may produce “a binding commitment to save Mother Earth”.

The second day of the 12-day UN Climate Change Conference saw officials from 192 countries tackle procedural matters and engage in technical discussions on how to stop global warming.

Negotiations are proceeding on a so-called two-track approach - one aimed at revising and updating the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, and a second track extended to all countries, including those which did not ratify Kyoto, such as the US.

Environmentalists were also keeping a close watch on a series of new reports on the state of the planet being published Tuesday.

One, by the pressure group Germanwatch, ranked Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras as the nations most affected by climate change in the past two decades. Another report, by the World Meteorological Organization, was to provide a global climate change update.

The first day of the conference opened with a sense of hope and optimism following a flurry of emission pledges and an announcement that a total of 110 world leaders planned to attend the final round of negotiations.

But the prospect of governments clinching a legally-binding text any time soon remained elusive, negotiators said.

Filed under: Environment, World

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