Don't give up on climate deal, British FM tells G20

7th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

The G20 has "no reason to give up" on hopes for agreement ahead of a key climate change summit, Britain's finance minister said Friday, as a meeting of the powerful grouping got under way here.

St Andrews - The G20 has "no reason to give up" on hopes for agreement ahead of a key climate change summit, Britain's finance minister said Friday, as a meeting of the powerful grouping got under way here.

Alistair Darling also warned there was "no room for complacency" over the state of the world economy, despite the fact that the United States, the world's biggest economy, recently joining countries like Germany and Japan in shaking off recession.

Darling's comments came as talks in Barcelona on a new UN climate pact ahead of December's Copenhagen summit neared an end, with little headway made on key stumbling blocks to securing a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

"The G20 must push for a deal on climate financing and governance -- this is an essential part of tackling climate change," Darling said in a speech in Edinburgh just before the G20's opened with a working dinner.

"The road ahead will be difficult, there are arguments still to be won. But that's no reason to give up -- rather, it's a reason to redouble our efforts," he added.

Hopes are now fading for a binding deal at Copenhagen -- instead, a political deal outlining a timetable to a legally binding treaty is looking more likely.

The two-day meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 rich and emerging economies, which continues Saturday, will also look at ways of bolstering the world economic recovery that experts warn is still fragile.

Darling urged international cooperation to boost growth around the world.

"There can be no room for complacency amongst G20 countries this weekend," said Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose country has notably yet to emerge from recession.

"We must see through measures to support demand and repair the financial system because we cannot yet be sure the global recovery has sufficient momentum to be sustained and durable.

"Once we're through this, we must coordinate our plans for the recovery, just as we have coordinated our response to this crisis.

"As we draw up our plans, we must accept that the biggest risk to recovery would be to exit before the recovery is real."

AFP/Expatica

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