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UN climate conference in Warsaw enters final hours

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The two-week Untied Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw has run into overtime. Developing and developed countries are divided over key climate change issues.

Talks in Warsaw entered their final hours much as they began. Tense. Negotiators from the nearly 200 countries here split along the lines of developed and developing holding firm in their positions.

"The carbon you emit anywhere in the world affects everywhere in the world. So it is important international agreements have the role of giving countries confidence that their partners and competitors are also acting." Todd Stern, US Climate Envoy said.

"The moment has reached for ministers to be at the level of the expectations of our people. And if we don’t engage together, we are never going to have a fair and equitable agreement." Claudia Salermo, Venezuelan Climate Envoy said.

First: finance. Back in 2009, rich nations promised one hundred billion dollars a year to help developing nations by 2020. So far, payments have fallen far short.

Second: How to move ahead. 2015 is the deadline for a new global climate agreement, to be signed in Paris. The date is quickly-approaching, but a deal isn’t.

And third: damages. A new mechanism to compensate losses from climate change. Again, money. But the developed countries fear it could expose them to huge financial claims.

Climate talks in Poland were never going to be easy. This is Europe’s biggest polluter. And activists - who walked out early - denounced this year’s choice of Warsaw as host.

A scaling-back of commitments early-on, by Australia, Canada and Japan, didn’t help the mood either.

"We have Australia provoking the Brazilians, the Brazilians provoking the Japanese, the Japanese then provoking the Indians and it sort of creates this sense of everybody’s trying to avoid the issue of the 2015 agreement, they’re trying to gain against the clock, so time is running out here." liz Gallagher, Third Generation Environmentalism said.

It’s not uncommon for these talks to go over time, as negotiators struggle to reach a consensus on some of these key issues. A consensus which might give them the much needed momentum, until they meet next year in Peru.

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