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Crunch Time for Climate Talks          12/13 06:35

   MADRID (AP) --a Officials from almost 200 countries  are preparing for a 
last push at an annual U.N. summit to finalize rules for the Paris climate 
accord amid signs that resolving the issue of international carbon markets may 
be postponed for another year.

   Negotiators pored over revised drafts Friday, hours before the U.N. talks in 
Madrid were officially meant to end.

   Germany's environment minister said a decision Thursday by European Union 
leaders in Brussels to make the bloc " climate neutral" by 2050 would provide a 
boost to negotiations in the Spanish capital during the final hours.

   "With this, we can convince other major economies to join in and show how 
they want to reduce carbon emissions," German minister Svenja Schulze told The 
Associated Press

   EU countries and others have made clear that they would prefer not to reach 
a deal on international carbon markets than to approve one that could undermine 
efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

   Environmental groups planned to stage protests outside the climate summit 
venue in Madrid later Friday.

   Scientists say big cuts to global emissions have to start next year if the 
2015 Paris agreement's goal of keeping global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 
Fahrenheit) but ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) by the end of the century 
is to be achieved.


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