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Doha climate talks go into overtime

8 December 2012

Rich nations have once again been accused of failing to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change, as the UN conference wraps up in Doha. The two-week long conference was due to end last night but continued after midnight. Negotiators have also been trying to scramble together a last minute agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol which runs out at the end of this year. But firm commitments over new emissions targets remain illusive. “One thing must change,” said Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action. “We cannot continue where a small group of countries, Europe and a few more who make commitments, while others voluntarily decide whether they want to do anything or not.” 2015 is the target date for the agreement of a wider UN deal that includes developing and developed nations. If successful, it would come into force five years later. “What we hope to see is a sense that the machinery is there and that we focus for the next four years – to the 2015 global deadline – on ramping up ambition,” said Liz Gallagher from the NGO CAN-I. The extra time relieves some of the pressure from the Doha talks, where rare protests have taken place outside and within the conference centre.