Science & Environment

Climate change progress 'too slow'

World Conference Center Image copyright AFP

International talks in Bonn have made progress towards a new global deal on climate change, says the UN, amid calls from NGOs for a faster pace.

Countries are working towards options to limit greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 in time for a crunch Paris summit.

The UN said progress had been made towards streamlining the text of a new agreement at talks in Bonn.

Environmental groups said ''difficult issues'' such as finance and emissions cuts had yet to be addressed.

The 11-day meeting is designed to pave the way towards a new global deal on climate change to be signed in Paris at the end of the year.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said ''step-by-step progress'' had been made towards countries' understanding of the text of the agreement and how to move forward.

Laurence Tubiana, special representative for the Paris climate conference, said the talks had been useful and had gained the trust of parties.

''I'm feeling optimistic after these two weeks,'' she said. ''We should not be frustrated and disappointed.''

Concern

However, The World Resources Institute said progress had been ''slow'' and did not match strong signals for ambitious climate action from outside the negotiations.

And Samantha Smith of WWF said that there was growing concern over ''what is needed and what is being promised on finance and emissions''.

''After difficult negotiations, all countries have said that more ambitious, immediate emissions cuts are needed and these commitments must be a clear outcome of the Paris talks,'' she said.

''However, that work needs to speed up too if we are going to avoid the very worst impacts of climate change.''

Delegates will return to Bonn in August and October for more rounds of climate talks, before the summit in Paris at the end of the year.

The key task now is to revise the draft agreement before it reaches heads of state.

Countries are expected to agree to a plan for the co-chairs of the UN climate negotiations to produce a ''clear and concise'' version of the text.

Momentum

Scientists say ambitious action is needed to avert the most severe impacts of climate change.

So far, more than 30 countries have pledged to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, with around 150 smaller countries yet to set goals.

Analysis suggests these do not go far enough to keep global warming below 2C.

Environmental groups point to key developments outside of the negotiations that are adding momentum towards Paris.

They include moves by business, such as Ikea giving $1bn to expand renewable energy and climate adaptations in developing countries.

G7 leaders have also signalled the need for action with a call for greenhouse gas emissions cuts and a move towards a low carbon future.

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