The United Nations official in charge of climate issues says an agreement is near at an international conference on global warming. U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer says intense negotiations are under way at the conference, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, to resolve a deadlock over how to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the next several years.
De Boer says people are working hard to resolve outstanding issues. European countries have been at odds with the United States over how quickly to require a dramatic reduction in emissions. The Europeans have called on rich countries to cut greenhouse gases by 25 to 40 percent by 2020, but the U.S. government strongly opposes that plan. Host country Indonesia has offered a compromise that would extend the timeline. The Bali talks broke early Saturday, and were set to resume later in the day. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was heading to Bali to either sign an agreement or to help break any lingering impasse.