|Developed nations have refused to commit cash to help fight climate change [GALLO/GETTY]
The UN's climate chief has warned that time is running out for negotiators to agree on crucial targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With two weeks of talks due to wrap up in Bangkok on Friday, Yvo de Boer said a deal at the Copenhagen summit in December may not be possible without commitments by developed countries to significant emissions cuts and financing for poorer nations to do the same.
The UN has set the Copenhagen meeting as a deadline for the world to seal a broad agreement on a new pact to limit carbon emissions and minimising the worst effects of climate change.
|Yvo de Boer has said a pact must be agreed in time for the Copenhagen summit [AFP]
Speaking on the conference sidelines in Bangkok, de Boer said that despite "significant advances" made in Bangkok, a "lack of leadership on the key political issues" had impaired the process of reaching an agreement.
"A will has emerged in Bangkok to build the architecture to rapidly implement climate action," he said, "but significant differences remain".
With just one negotiating session left, De Boer said it was "time now to step back from self interest and let the common interest prevail."
With representatives from 190 countries, the talks in the Thai capital had been tasked with finalising a framework pact to expand and replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose emission limits for industrialised nations expire in 2012.
Kyoto requires reductions of about five per cent in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels, with no limits for developing nations.
Negotiators in Bangkok spent the past week locked in intense and often heated discussions trying to agree on emissions targets, and financial help for poorer nations to meet their commitments.
But the stalling point remains over finance, with developed countries refusing to commit any funding for clean technology to help developing countries adapt to climate change.
For many nations the effects of climate change have become a national security concern
The world's poorer nations are demanding cash to help them face rising seas and green their economies to slow the rapid rise of their carbon emissions.
"There has to be a quid pro quo, you have to see a significant advance on the finance. Otherwise, what's the point?" de Boer said.
"Unless we see an advance on ambitious industrialised country targets and significant finance on the table, it is very difficult for negotiators in this process to continue their work in good faith."
Speaking to Al Jazeera, the head of the G77 group of developing nations, Sudanese ambassador to the UN Lumumba Di-Aping, said that while industrialised nations were trying to break promises on emissions cuts, for the world's poorest people climate change presents the ultimate challenge.
"Developing countries will not accept a deal that will not address the critical issues of climate change, because for developing countries it is a matter of life and death," he said.
In Africa alone he said, "a very bad situation is moving towards disaster".
After the Bangkok meeting ends on Friday, officials have another week of talks in Barcelona early next month before the December summit in Copenhagen.
But critics have said that without increased political will from world leaders, there will be no breakthrough on the intractable issues of emissions targets and the billions of dollars in financing needed to help poor countries.
The UN says getting big developing nations such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil into a new agreement is critical if the world is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
"If people don't start showing their cards there's not going to be a card game in Copenhagen"
Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists
Total emissions from poorer nations now exceed those from rich countries, and they are rising at a much faster rate.
Brazil has pledged an 80 per cent reduction in deforestation by 2020 and Indonesia has said it would craft a policy to cut emissions by 26 per cent by 2020 from "business as usual" levels.
China has said its carbon intensity - the amount of carbon emitted per unit of energy consumed - would come down by a notable margin by 2020 from 2005 levels.
"I think a number the developing countries feel that they have been putting a lot of initiatives on the table," Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists told Reuters.
But he added poor countries felt that the wealthier nations were not putting much on the table.
"If people don't start showing their cards there's not going to be a card game in Copenhagen," he said.
"It's like we're kicking over the table because no one wants to play the game."