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Climate talks over: What's next?

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This month's  global climate talks in Poznan, Poland, are history. Negotiators achieved their main objective: Give marching orders to a pair of working groups to develop formal negotiating texts, starting next March in Bonn.

Oh, yes – and have the texts ready for debate and tweaking at the next global climate conference, scheduled for Copenhagen at the end of next year. Feel free to add extra meetings to the schedule if needed.

This was the two-year timeline set last December in Bali. It's a tall order.

One comment during a final press briefing in Poznan hints at the challenge. Yvo de Boer, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was asked whether, since the two-year allotment for talks under the Bali Road Map is half over, half the work needed to reach the finish line has been achieved.

"No, it hasn't," Mr. de Boer acknowledged. "The last year was a year of exchanging ideas, ... and now we're moving into a full negotiating mode and it's going to be a very heavy agenda. As in any marathon, you need to do the really fast running at the end."

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