VIENNA — The European Union's top climate diplomat said on Saturday the bloc's proposal for upcoming UN talks to lay down a new "roadmap" leading to a comprehensive global deal by 2015 has been well received.
"I have had very positive signals about the EU proposal for a roadmap," Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, told the Austrian daily Der Standard in an interview.
The idea "would give countries more time, namely until 2015, to comply with international climate protection obligations and to introduce the corresponding monitoring," the Dane said in comments published in German.
Negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have made little progress since the stormy Copenhagen Summit of December 2009. The next talks are set for Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9.
Hedegaard said however the new roadmap should be "binding" and aim to encompass 80-85 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, compared with only around a third covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
"We will insist (in Durban) that without binding commitments there can be no successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012," Hedegaard said.
Kyoto currently only covers some three dozen rich nations. China, the world's top carbon emitter overall -- but not per capita -- was excluded as a developing nation, and the United States, the number two polluter, opted out.
Canada, Japan and Russia have refused to continue Kyoto and say that any future accord must all major economies including China, which in turn wants binding action from wealthy nations.
On Thursday, small island nations facing rising seas slammed suggestions by Japan and Russia that a 2015 target for a global agreement was unrealistic, with Moscow saying 2018 or even later was a more plausible target date.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »