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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

APEC Leaders Agree to Delay Climate Accord

Heads of state attending an APEC meeting in Singapore on Sunday supported delaying a legally binding climate pact until 2010 or even later, under a compromise deal for next month’s Copenhagen summit.

“Given the time factor and the situation of individual countries, we must in the coming weeks focus on what is possible and not let ourselves be distracted by what is not possible,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told the leaders.

“The Copenhagen Agreement should finally mandate continued legal negotiations and set a deadline for their conclusion,” said the host for the Copenhagen talks, who flew into Singapore to lay out his proposal.

Earlier this month, Rasmussen visited Moscow and won Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s backing for the legally binding initiative to replace the Kyoto Protocol. But Putin warned that it must take into account Russia’s carbon dioxide-absorbing forests and include all major economies.

Rasmussen’s two-step plan would pave the way for a political accord at the Dec. 7 to 18 talks, to be followed by haggling over binding commitments on targets, finance and technology transfer on a slower track, though still with a deadline.

It would also give breathing space for the U.S. Senate to pass carbon-capping legislation, allowing President Barack Obama’s administration to bring a 2020 target and financing pledges to the table at a major United Nations climate meeting in mid-2010. 

(Reuters, MT)