At the opening of second week of this year's plodding UN climate talks, a draft text released over the weekend is being met with cautious approval.
The draft agreement, which covers long-term action against global warming, reconfirms a key aspect of the Copenhagen accord -- that "deep cuts" in industrial emissions are needed to keep warming in check at two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The draft also calls for a review on whether the goal should be strengthened to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Gordon Shepherd, head of WWF's Global Climate Initiative, welcomed the draft, saying it "provides a good basis for negotiation."
But fundamental disputes remain -- not least of which concerns the future of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The deal, negotiated in 1997, outlines requirements for developed nations to cut emissions. Japan, Russia and Canada have steadfastly opposed a renewal of the treaty unless the world's two largest emitters -- the United States and China -- sign onto a new accord.
Government ministers from more than 190 countries arrive in Mexico tomorrow to try to hammer out a package of measures by the end of the week.
Photo: Joel Saget/AFP