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Gore Turns-Up as Talks Get Tense 

Former US President Al Gore arrived at the UN climate change talks this morning just as the EU and US entered into a stand-off over emission targets.

As the talks enter their final few hours, negotiations are currently deadlocked with the US pushing to remove specific emission reduction target figures from the draft document that will provide the framework for a new global deal to replace Kyoto in 2012.

According to a report on Guardian Unlimited, Stavros Dimas, the European commissioner for the environment, insisted that an emissions cut of 25-40% by 2020 for rich nations was an "indispensable" part of the text that must be agreed in Bali by the close of talks on Friday.

The current impasse threatens to impact on the climate change meeting of leading economies in Hawaii next month, which is to be hosted by the US.

Portuguese environment secretary, Humberto Rosa, said: "We support the major economies meeting but it is senseless if the Bali meeting is a failure."

Although Mr Rosa said that EU is not "boycotting" the forthcoming summit meeting, he added: "We're not blackmailing anyone. No Bali, no meeting - we take it as logical, not blackmail."

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said he was “very concerned about the pace of things," before warning, "At twelve noon tomorrow (Friday - 0400 GMT), the time is up." However, Mr de Boer was later reported as saying, "I am a lot more optimistic than I was five hours ago."

Hopefully Mr Gore’s recent elevation to the rank of Nobel Peace Prize winner will have some influence on the stalemate.


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published: 16:30 - 13 December 2007