Singapore expects UN climate negotiations to be complex

Saifulbahri Ismail Channel NewsAsia 19 Nov 13;

BRATISLAVA: Singapore expects negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland, to be complex and difficult.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said he does not have high hopes for progress at the conference.

Dr Balakrishnan was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a business forum in Bratislava, Slovakia.

He is in the Slovak capital as part of a delegation which accompanied President Tony Tan Keng Yam's state visit to central and eastern Europe.

Dr Balakrishnan will leave for Warsaw from Slovakia to attend the UN conference.

At the conference, governments are expected to agree on steps towards a new agreement by 2015 aimed at among other things, keeping global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Dr Balakrishnan said he is not confident that even natural disasters such as the recent typhoon in the Philippines will spur action at the conference.

He said: "That will give an added sense of urgency, added dose of reality. But as I said, to translate that into a comprehensive global sustainable long-term fair outcome, there is a long way more to go before we reach that.

"But we will do our best, we will certainly try in our own way, try to be a force of positive reason and try to bring the world hopefully closer together."

- CNA/de