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December 19, 2009

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Premier, Obama Meet Twice In A Day

PREMIER Wen Jiabao and United States President Barack Obama met privately twice yesterday trying to salvage a global warming accord amid deep divisions between rich and poor nations.

Abandoning any hope of reaching a comprehensive deal, a group of about 25 countries sought agreement on a two-page political statement setting out critical elements, key among them the mobilization of US$30 billion in the next three years to help poor countries cope with climate change.

That would be scaled up to US$100 billion a year by 2020.

As negotiations evolved, several new drafts of the document, the Copenhagen Accord, emerged, each time with key clauses modified. Later drafts said rich countries should cut greenhouse emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.

With the climate talks in disarray, Wen and Obama met for nearly an hour, and by yesterday afternoon had taken some steps toward an agreement, a senior Obama administration official told The Associated Press.

Obama later met with the leaders of China, Russia, Australia, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. Also participating in the talks were developing countries Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Colombia, among others.


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