Nations set up global climate fund

CANCUN, December 11, 2010 (AFP) – Global talks on climate change on Saturday set up a new fund to manage billions of dollars in aid to poor nations in a hard-fought package urging deep cuts in industrial emissions. After two weeks of talks in Mexico and two virtually sleepless final days, more than 190 countries reached a deal that leaves open an extension of the Kyoto Protocol whose requirements expire in two years.

“A new era in international cooperation in climate change has begun,” Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa told the talks in the resort of Cancun.

A year after the chaotic Copenhagen summit, Espinosa won wide praise for steering the talks and seeking consensus on building blocks to a future climate treaty. Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh even called her a “goddess.”

But the talks left much of the hard work to next year’s talks in Durban — including the crucial question of by how much all nations will cut carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

Bolivia was the main holdout. To the dismay of many other negotiators, Bolivian negotiator Pedro Solon took the microphone repeatedly after midnight, saying the deal would not halt climate change “will put more humans in a