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Nobel joy but negotiation dismay at UN climate talks

Image: Environmental activists protest at the UN Climate Change Conference 2007

NUSA DUA, Indonesia
(AFP) — On the eve of the Kyoto Protocol's 10th anniversary, campaigners voiced joy here Monday as the Nobel peace award nailed climate change to the top of the political agenda. But there was also dismay over setbacks towards a new pact to tackle global warming as new disputes emerged.

The 2007 Nobel ceremonies in Oslo, Norway were telecast live to the December 3-14 Bali meeting on climate change, capping a year that has made the greenhouse-gas crisis an inescapable priority for political leaders everywhere.

In an air-conditioned room, more than 100 delegates on the Indonesian island watched the ceremony on big screens, some taking pictures or sipping wine offered by the Norwegian delegation.

The crowd broke into applause as Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri, head of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), arrived for their joint award.

"I'm so very happy at this recognition and what it brings to this issue," said beaming French delegate Amy Dahan.

On Tuesday, the UN conference was to take the celebratory tone a notch higher with a birthday cake in honour of the Kyoto Protocol, the pact on curbing greenhouse gases that was inked in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997.

Yet there were also reminders of the problems that have dogged Kyoto throughout its life, as new disputes emerged over how to strengthen its pollution-cutting action beyond 2012.

From Wednesday, environment ministers from nearly 190 countries will strive to agree a blueprint for negotiations that will both step up curbs on greenhouse gases and channel help to poor countries in the line of the climate juggernaut.

It will essentially be a three-way game of poker.
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