UN Climate Talks Open in China to Tackle Threat From Global Warming
Talks aimed at reaching an agreement to mitigate climate change opened in China as the United Nations warned that time is running out before global warming reverses decades of economic development.
Delegates from 177 governments began a week of talks today in Tianjin, northern China, the first time the most populous country and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases has hosted a meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Tianjin meeting is the last chance before envoys meet in Cancun, Mexico, for Nov. 29-Dec. 10 talks to help reach an agreement that even the UN climate chief has said is unlikely this year. The last climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 failed to produce a binding agreement even after leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama flew in to try to hammer out a deal.
“A concrete outcome in Cancun is urgently needed to prevent climate change impacts from reversing development gains that have been painstakingly achieved over the last few decades,” Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC’s executive secretary, said in Tianjin. An agreement in Cancun “may not be exhaustive in detail but it must be comprehensive in scope.”