UN chief calls for new climate pact push

UN chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for world powers to make a new effort to secure a legally binding climate deal next year amid new diplomatic wrangling over the failure of the Copenhagen summit.

China hit back at Britain over claims that Beijing had "hijacked" the Copenhagen negotiations while Brazil and Cuba lashed out at the US President Barack Obama.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed for world powers to make a new effort to secure a legally binding climate deal next year amid new diplomatic wrangling over the failure of the Copenhagen summit.

With scientists warning of the growing threat of drought, floods, storms and rising sea levels, Ban acknowledged international disappointment over the summit accord on restraining rising temperatures.

"I am aware that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference, including the Copenhagen Accord, did not go as far as many would have hoped," Ban told reporters in New York.

"Nonetheless they represent a beginning, an essential beginning," the secretary general added.

Ban said "the leaders were united in purpose, but they were not united in action," and pressed them "to directly engage in achieving a global legally binding climate change treaty in 2010."

The UN boss said he would set up a high-level panel on development and climate change in 2010 ahead of attempts for a new deal at a summit in Mexico City in December next year.

The leaders of the United States, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and major European nations assembled the last-minute Copenhagen accord, as it became clear the 194-nation summit was heading for failure.

They promised 100 billion dollars for poor nations that risk bearing the brunt of the global warming fallout and set a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The outcome has been widely criticised, with recriminations among many of the participants.

China on Tuesday accused Britain of "fomenting discord" among developing countries after Britain's climate change minister Ed Miliband said China had blocked a deal in Copenhagen.

Miliband wrote in a newspaper article that China vetoed attempts to give legal force to the accord reached at the summit and that it had blocked an agreement on reductions in global emissions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said "such an attack was made in order to shirk the obligations of developed countries to their developing counterparts and foment discord among developing countries."

She told the state Xinhua news agency "the attempt was doomed to fail."

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blamed the United States for the talks' failure, saying Obama was not prepared to make sufficient emissions cuts.

"The United States is proposing a reduction of four percent from the date fixed by the Kyoto Protocol (1990). That is too little," Lula said on his weekly radio programme.

This led other countries to avoid their "commitments to the objectives (of reducing carbon dioxide emissions) and financial commitments," Lula added.

Brazil pledged voluntary carbon emission cuts of 36-39 percent based on projected 2020 output and urged rich countries to help poorer countries.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused Obama of being "arrogant" at the summit, while Britain had been the "executioner" for the United States.

"During the summit, there was just an imperial, arrogant Obama who doesn't listen, who imposes and threatens developing countries," the minister told a press conference.

Rodriguez added that "the British delegation played the role of the executioner" using attempts at "shameful blackmail" against developing countries.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday accused a handful of unnamed countries of taking the summit hostage.

India weighed into the dispute with its government hailing the lack of targets and legally binding measures and vaunting the united front presented with China, Brazil and South Africa.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told parliament India had "come out quite well in Copenhagen".

He listed a series of accomplishments, including the thwarting of moves to impose binding targets for global reductions in carbon emissions -- something India has always rejected.

"We can be satisfied that we were able to get our way on this issue," Ramesh told lawmakers.

Bangladesh, one of the nations most vulnerable to global warming, said meanwhile that it will seek 15 percent of the first 30 billion dollars committed at the Copenhagen summit.

source AFP

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