Brazil hails Europe leadership in climate talks

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lauded Europe's "leadership" Thursday in UN climate change negotiations and called for a global "solid climate deal" as she met French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

Brazil "acknowledges the leadership role played by Europe with respect to climate change," Rousseff said in brief remarks to the press, with Fillon at her side.

She was referring to the recent UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, where the European Union was the only major player to sign on to an extension of Kyoto Protocol before its obligations are scheduled to run out at the end of 2012.

The Europeans offered the new round of Kyoto pledges on emission cuts in a bid to encourage developing countries to sign on to the Durban agreement, which calls for the first climate treaty covering the whole world by 2015.

The Kyoto Protocol, reached in 1997 after marathon talks in Japan's ancient capital, requires only wealthy nations to cut emissions blamed for climate change.

Rousseff gave a "positive assessment" of the Durban conference, which also also launched a "Green Climate Fund" to help channel up to $100 billion a year in aid to poor, vulnerable countries by 2020.

"We have until 2015 to negotiate a solid climate deal," she said.

Earlier in Sao Paulo, Fillon said his country needs the "leadership of Brazil and its president" at a time when Europe faces "a confidence crisis" over its debt woes.

Speaking to business leaders, he also called for an acceleration of the strategic partnership France and Brazil launched in 2008.

The French prime minister arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic capital, on Wednesday for the first leg of a four-day visit.

© 2011 AFP

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