By EDITH M. LEDERER (AP)
UNITED NATIONS — Just weeks before an international conference on climate change, the United Nations signaled it was scaling back expectations of reaching agreement on a new treaty to slow global warming.
Janos Pasztor, director of the secretary-general’s Climate Change Support Team, said Monday “it’s hard to say how far the conference will be able to go” because the U.S. Congress has not agreed on a climate bill, and industrialized nations have not agreed on targets to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions or funding to help developing countries limit their discharges.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made a new climate treaty his top priority, hosting a Sept. 22 summit on climate change to spur political support and traveling extensively to build political momentum for a global agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which only requires 37 industrialized nations to cut emissions.
Pasztor told a news conference “there is tremendous activity by governments in capitals and internationally to shape the outcome” of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in early December, which “is a good development” because political leadership is essential to make a deal.
But he indicated that Copenhagen most likely won’t produce a treaty, but instead will push governments as far as they can go on the content of an agreement.
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