Cancun Could Start `Concrete Actions' on Climate, Senior EU Official Says

Negotiators may be able to agree on ways to adapt to climate change, transfer technologies and slow deforestation when they meet next month in Cancun, Mexico, a senior European Union official said today.

“What is within reach is a number of agreements that would allow concrete actions to start,” Laurence Graff, head of international relations unit at the European Commission’s climate department, told a seminar today in Brussels. Envoys may agree on frameworks to help mainly developing countries cope with the effects of global warming and put systems in place to begin measuring and slowing emissions of greenhouse gases.

The 27-nation EU has stated intentions to be a leader in the fight against global warming. It is on schedule to meet its 2020 goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 1990 levels and has said it would be willing to move to 30 percent if other countries follow suit. It stopped short of setting a more ambitious target at global climate talks in Copenhagen last year, citing a lack of comparable effort by the U.S. and China.

In Copenhagen, negotiators failed to reach a binding deal to set a framework for greenhouse-gas reduction when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. Instead, they settled for a political accord calling for $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund climate efforts in poorer nations. They also vowed to stop global temperature increases at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than in pre-industrial times.

The United Nations conference in Cancun starts Nov. 29. It is unlikely to produce a deal on mitigation targets, Graff said.

“We need to be ambitious but realistic and manage expectations so that we can lay the ground for action and provide a good milestone for an international regime that would be finalized later,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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