Nearly 100 global leaders ranging from the president of the United States to the prime minister of the tiny Polynesian island of Tuvalu will descend on Copenhagen this week in an effort to break a stalemate over climate change that has bedevilled negotiators for the past seven days. Leaders at the talks are divided on a number of key questions, including which countries will bear the costly burden of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, and how to find the estimated US$10 billion (Dh36.7bn) in financing needed annually over the next three years to help the poorest countries deploy clean technology and adapt to global warming. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, told reporters on his arrival yesterday that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of the talks.
A number of experts called last week's efforts a failure, as they uncovered divisions between the US and the EU, fast-growing states led by China, and poorer countries that favour aggressive efforts to cut carbon emissions. A draft published this weekend showed wide gaps over core issues, including the total emission cuts needed by 2050. Targets for cuts range from 50 to 95 per cent, according to the text. Middle Eastern countries have a strong incentive to play a role in the talks as they will be affected by global warming directly and also by efforts to slow climate change by weaning the world off fossil fuels, analysts said. firstname.lastname@example.org * With agencies