Bangkok: A global decision on how much rich countries should slash their greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade should be made after the US has a new president, the United Nations climate chief said on Tuesday.
Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Convention on Climate Change which is chairing talks in Bangkok, said the highly sensitive issue should be thrashed out next year, after the US elections in November.
“There are some topics which it makes sense to leave for later in the process, for example what sort of targets or commitments are industrialized countries going to agree to,” he told reporters. “That is something which is perhaps more sensibly discussed with a new administration.”
Under President George W. Bush, who will leave office in January, the US backed out of the Kyoto Protocol, the landmark pact on cutting emissions, the obligations of which expire at the end of 2012. Bush argued the treaty was unfair by making no demands of developing countries. But the three major candidates vying to replace him have pledged tougher action on global warming.
Meanwhile, poor countries said on Tuesday they won’t sign a global warming pact unless industrialized nations guarantee them billions of dollars needed to adapt to climate change. Island nations in the Caribbean and South Pacific recounted how they are being hit by worsening floods, rising seas and cyclones and don’t have the money to build sea walls or relocate villagers.
Rich countries say they are willing to help but disagree on the method—if it should be voluntary aid, favoured by the US, or a European proposal to use trading of pollution permits to generate funds.
AP contributed to this story.