London - The British government echoed US warnings Friday that a binding deal on climate change is now unlikely to be agreed upon at a United Nations (UN) climate change summit in Copenhagen next month.
"The barriers to agreement on climate finance remain substantial. Even if countries agree the levels of finance, few will want to hand over money if they lack confidence in the means of delivering it," Alistair Darling, Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, wrote in the Independent newspaper Friday.
His comments came after Ed Miliband, Britain's Energy and Climate Change Secretary, indicated that political agreement - rather than a binding legal commitment - had now become the main goal of the Copenhagen conference.
"The UN negotiations are moving slowly and not going well," Miliband said in a parliamentary debate Thursday. "We would have preferred a full legal treaty, it has to be said," he added.
Britain has been pushing for a binding treaty deal to be signed at Copenhagen, but US chief climate change negotiator Jonathan Pershing told a meeting in Barcelona this week that such a deal was unlikely.(dpa)