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Major economies to hold climate talks in US

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 8, 2010
The world's 17 major economies accounting for the bulk of carbon emissions will meet this month in Washington in hopes of pushing forward slow-moving climate talks, US officials said Thursday.

Officials from the so-called Major Economies Forum -- whose countries account for more than 80 percent of the emissions blamed for global warming -- will meet on April 18 and 19 in Washington, the State Department said.

"The forum is intended to facilitate a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies to make progress in meeting the climate change and clean energy challenge," it said in a statement.

The meeting marks part of a renewed push to seek progress after the rancorous UN-led climate summit in Copenhagen in December which ended with a vague agreement that left few sides happy.

Negotiators under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Bonn from Friday to Sunday in their first official talks since the strife-torn summit in the Danish capital.

Todd Stern, the top US climate negotiator, said after the Copenhagen meeting that he was leaning toward working out details of the next climate agreement in smaller settings while not bypassing the UN process.

A small number of developing nations including Sudan, Cuba and Venezuela vociferously criticized Western nations at the Copenhagen conference, preventing it from formally approving the fine-tuned agreement.

Negotiators hope to seal the next global agreement on climate change at a summit this December in Mexico. The treaty would succeed the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations on cutting emissions expire at the end of 2012.

Germany has also invited some 50 environment ministers to a May 2-4 conference in Bonn.

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