'Very difficult' issues dog climate talks: Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that they made alot of progress during the talks but still have some issues to work on.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that they made alot of progress during the talks but still have some issues to work on.PHOTO: REUTERS

LE BOURGET, France (AFP) - World powers must still make tough decisions to agree a global climate pact that will head off the threat of global warming, United States Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday (Dec 11).

"We had a very constructive meeting. We made a lot of progress," he said, after talks with summit host, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "Progress made last night, a long night, but there's still a couple of very difficult issues we're working on."

Kerry would not be drawn on which issues in particular had become sticking points, but after speaking to reporters he went to meet Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

India has demanded that developed countries like the US shoulder more of the cost that countries face in adapting to the effects of climate change.

"The responsibility is on a lot of us to provide language for potential compromise in areas where it's possible," Kerry warned.

Asked about a pledge that Fabius had made that a compromise text would be produced early on Saturday (Dec 12), Kerry was cautious, saying: "Well, that's the hope." "It's possible that it could come to a conclusion some time tomorrow," he added.

According to Washington's top diplomat, responsibility for ironing out the remaining kinks in the draft falls on the French presidency of the UN summit.

But he suggested the United States and other powers have been working in parallel to head off disagreements between the players before they surface.

"Some of us have been working quietly behind the scenes to work out compromises ahead of time on some of those issues," he said.

"So tomorrow will really be a reflection of those compromises surfacing, and hopefully there's a consensus."