Sweden's Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren
climate change

Carlgren: Mexico Climate Talks Will Fail

The failures of last year’s climate meeting in Copenhagen are casting a long shadow on the coming international UN conference in Mexico at the end of the year. After meeting his EU colleagues on Monday, Swedish environment minister Andreas Carlgren is doubtful that the international UN group can agree on a deal to cut emissions of carbon dioxide.

Carlgren told Swedish Radio News that the EU is ready to sign such a settlement, but that the rest of the world is less willing to compromise.

Industrial giants USA and China are still the largest hinders to an international agreement, he maintains.

"The big dilemma is that the USA hasn't adopted climate legislation despite that Obama is so ambitious, and that big emissions countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa don’t want to make any commitments. We believe that they have to do that if we are going to manage the climate," Carlgren said.

In two weeks, the EU will vote on its own back-up plan to keep climate talks alive even if the conference in Mexico fails. The agreement would mean that the EU will keep to the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, when it expires.

“We are prepared to take on another period of the Kyoto Protocol but we also make demands that the USA take on a similar agreement. We also demand that the fastest growing developing countries adopt the agreement as well,” Andreas Carlgren said.

But Green Party leader Maria Wetterstrand thinks that it’s unproductive to enter talks in Mexico with a belief that they're going to fail.

“There’s a much greater chance that the negotiations will succeed if the people who are negotiating have the ambition that they will succeed, rather than giving up in advance,” she told Swedish Radio News on Wednesday.

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