New round of UN climate talks opens in Bonn

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A new round of UN climate talks opened here Monday to discuss a new negotiating text and prepare the ground for the year-end Mexico summit.

The Bonn gathering, scheduled for Aug. 2-6, attracted more than 4,500 participants from governments, business, environmental organizations and research institutions from nearly 190 countries.

Parties will debate on a new blueprint put forward by Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe, chair of the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).

The negotiating text was a revised draft based on progress and discussions made in the last session, which took place in Bonn from May 31 to June 11.

The previous version of the text was criticized as "imbalanced" by developing countries in June. Many representatives said it failed to reflect proposals and positions of developing countries and could not serve as a basis for further negotiations.

Although a widely-accepted treaty still seemed unlikely this year, a positive atmosphere and some specific progress has been achieved in the previous two rounds of talks this year, after the Copenhagen summit in late 2009 ended with no binding agreement but a document of political intentions, UN climate officials said earlier.

"The idea that a single magic, global agreement could solve all climate issues does not do justice to the crucial steps already achieved and, most importantly, dangerously ignores the need to keep innovating," said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Some negotiators and climate activists said the Bonn talks would determine the prospect of the Cancun conference, a ministerial-level meeting held in Mexico in December.

Only one gathering is left before Cancun this year after the Bonn meeting, which is to be held in China's Tianjin in October.

Instead of reaching a final treaty, the Bonn meeting, as well as those in Tianjin and Cancun, are expected to witness progress made in some substantial issues, including climate funds, transfer of clean technologies, slowing deforestation and capacity building.

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