Diplomats' third lap of marathon climate talks
"I expect a very long and extremely difficult night of negotiations" ... German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, right. Photo: Reuters
ENVOYS from more than 190 nations worked into a third night as United Nations global-warming talks in Doha became bogged down over issues including pledges worth $100 billion.
Negotiators are seeking to settle differences on climate aid and fossil-fuel emissions, paving the way to a new treaty by 2015.
''A number of questions are still unresolved,'' Peter Altmaier, the German Environment Minister, said as participants prepared for another marathon session. ''I expect a very long and extremely difficult night of negotiations. Perhaps in the morning we will have an impression whether a compromise is possible or not.'' The Qatari hosts of the talks asked him to help broker an agreement.
Industrial and developing nations remained divided about a $100 billion aid pledge for 2020, an insurance fund for climate disasters and which countries should shoulder the burden of shifting the world away from oil, coal and natural gas.
The talks have extended beyond their scheduled conclusion of 6.30pm on Friday in Doha.
The complexity of the negotiations may unravel the work being done and lead to collapse of the meeting, said Jake Schmidt, who is observing the sessions for the Natural Resources Defence Council.
''We're at a very delicate stage where ministers are going to have to clean up a mess that's been left for them to resolve,'' Schmidt said.
Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, a diplomat from Qatar who is presiding over the talks, told delegates the meeting needed to finish and that he was confident a deal was near.
''This is normal, where we are now,'' Al-Attiya said.
Russia expressed concern discussions may stretch into Sunday, which would match the record for the latest finish set last year.
''No one can predict now when we will finish,'' Oleg Shamanov from Russia said. in an interview. ''We do not have the balance among all three tracks.''
The discussion intends to draft a new treaty by 2015 coming into force by 2020. Also in this year's plan is an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which limits greenhouse-gas emissions in industrial nations.
''After compromises are made by all parties, we can further improve the package,'' said Chinese delegation chief, Xie Zhenhua. ''We are willing to adopt a flexible approach and take the necessary compromises.''
This year's meeting has been dominated by a call from developing nations for a road map charting how industrial nations plan to deliver the $100 billion of aid promised for 2020. The funds are for projects that reduce emissions and protect against the effects of climate change
Developing countries have criticised the lack of ambition in emissions cuts and a dearth of finance pledges to boost climate aid towards the $100 billion.
''We're quite a long way from a result,'' the Canadian Environment Minister, Peter Kent, said. ''Nothing's been finalised, and there's still ministerial consultations going on all of the items.''