Tough road lies ahead for global climate deal

BANGKOK, April 5, 2008 (AFP) – There have been numerous disagreements during a week of intense climate change talks in Bangkok but there is one point all sides agree on — a long, tough road lies ahead.

The five-day negotiations stretched past midnight on Friday before reaching a deal aimed solely at setting up more talks, the eventual goal to draft by the end of next year the most far-reaching treaty yet to battle global warming.

Rich and poor nations were at loggerheads, with developing countries especially suspicious of a Japanese-led proposal on industry standards and demanding greater aid to help them cope with the ravages of climate change.

The talks set up seven more sessions — three this year and four next — amid growing global concern that rising temperatures could put millions of people at risk by century’s end through drought, floods and other extreme weather.

The next session meets in June in Bonn, Germany.

“We have 18 months to agree on a deal and it is probably one of the most important deals that mankind has negotiated,” said Marcelo Furtado of Greenpeace Brazil.

“This is showing that we still lack political will and that is something we’re very concerned a