Climate Talks in Danger of Unravelling as China and US Clash

The Guardian reports on a stalling of climate talks over disagreements over emission reduction targets:

With just six days’ negotiating time left before a critical meeting in Cancun, Mexico, some diplomats fear that the fragile deal struck in Copenhagen last December could unravel.

Rather than slim down the negotiating text to allow politicians to make choices at Cancun, the US, China and many developing countries all added pages to draft texts in a series of tit-for-tat moves that critics said had sent the talks backwards after a week of meetings.

“Events outside [such as the Russian heatwave and the Pakistan floods] are consistent with what we can expect from climate change,” said Jonathan Pershing, the lead US negotiator at this week’s meeting in Bonn. “But I am very concerned that some countries are walking backwards in the progress made since Copenhagen. If we continue to go down this road, there is no hope of an agreement in Cancun. All parties are stepping back.”