Nations to Seek New Global Warming Pact by 2009

The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali ended participants agreeing to a time table for negotiating a strengthened international climate change deal.

Under the "Bali Roadmap," the 187 participating nations will seek a new agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Key issues to be discussed are:

  • action for adapting to the negative consequences of climate change, such as droughts and floods.
  • ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • ways to widely deploy climate-friendly technologies.
  • financing both adaptation and mitigation measures.

Concluding negotiations in 2009 will ensure that the new deal can enter into force by 2013, United Nations officials stated.

"We now have a Bali roadmap, we have an agenda and we have a deadline," said Rachmat Witoelar, Indonesian environment minister and president of the conference. "But we also have a huge task ahead of us and time to reach agreement is extremely short, so we need to move quickly."

During an emotional showdown in the final hours of the 15-day meeting, the U.S. delegation rejected and then decided to join in the global talks.

"The U.S. administration was asked to get out of the way, and in the end they bowed to pressure," said Hans Verolme, director of World Wildlife Fund's Global Climate Change Program. "The Bali Roadmap leaves a seat at the table for the next U.S. president to make a real contribution to the global fight to stop dangerous climate change."

In a statement, the White House said that it still has "serious concerns" about the agreement.

"The negotiations must proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone. Major developing economies must likewise act," White House officials stated.

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