Major talks on how to address climate change over the next few decades will begin today in Bali.
The 13th annual negotiating conference for members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be attended by world leaders and environmental campaigners until December 14th.
UN general-secretary Ban Ki-moon, who will take part in the talks from December 12th to 14th, wants to use the summit to make progress on an agreement for action on climate change after the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012.
"If we are to meet the challenge of global warming, we need a new and comprehensive agreement that all nations can embrace," said UN spokesperson Michele Montas, speaking on behalf of Mr Ban.
"[The secretary-general] feels we need a breakthrough in Bali as a critical first step. If we are to meet the challenge of global warming, we need a new and comprehensive agreement that all nations can embrace."
Friends of the Earth is hopeful that the talks will result in a mandate to ensure international action post-2012. It will be campaigning at the talks for negotiators to commit to a 40 per cent reduction in 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020 from industrialised countries.
The group also wants to see a timetable for negotiations to establish an international framework for major emissions cuts post-2012, with legally-binding burden-sharing of emissions.
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