UN climate talks advance on forests and industry

A United Nations climate-change meeting in Ghana, west Africa, has seen progress on ways to help developing nations slow deforestation, Reuters reported delegates as saying. Disputes were also reported to have been eased over the use of sectoral targets for industries such as steel and cement.

The week-long meeting in the Ghanaian capital of Accra is the third session this year under a plan to agree a new climate treaty by the end of 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

The talks have largely focused on ways to encourage tropical developing nations to slow the rate of deforestation and debating whether industries such as steel, aluminium or cement should have international benchmarks for efficiency.

Referring to a new UN scheme to slow deforestation, Luiz Figueiredo Machado, a Brazilian expert, was quoted as saying, "The chances that it will go ahead, in my mind, are much higher." He said that there was an "overwhelming consensus" on the importance of the project.

The talks are also seeking to bridge differences over whether to impose sectoral targets for industries, an idea championed this year by Japan.

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