Developing nations urge deeper climate cuts to zero emissions

By Alister Doyle LIMA (Reuters) - Developing nations called on the rich on Tuesday to do more to lead the fight against climate change in line with scientific findings that global greenhouse gas emissions should fall to net zero by 2100 to avert the worst impacts. About 190 nations are meeting in Lima from Dec. 1-12 to decide elements of a deal, due to be agreed in Paris in a year's time, to reverse a steady rise in greenhouse gases to limit risks of more floods, droughts, heat waves and rising sea levels. Tuesday underscored how much work remains to reach a global deal despite optimism in recent weeks after China, the United States and the European Union outlined goals for curbing their emissions beyond 2020. The group of least-developed nations said in a statement that rich counties should do "substantially more" to cut emissions and provide cash to enable the poor to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. "Progress is not nearly enough," said Marlene Moses of Nauru, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, which fear storm surges and rising sea levels. Developed nations say they are already acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and point to almost $10 billion raised in recent weeks for a Green Climate Fund to help developing nations cope with climate change. Separately, leaders of the U.N. panel of climate scientists presented findings from studies earlier this year indicating that world greenhouse gas emissions will have to fall to net zero by 2100 to avert the worst risks of climate change. Net zero means that any lingering emissions will be offset by other measures, such as planting forests, which soak up carbon dioxide from the air as they grow. The United Nations says the Paris accord will be too weak to get on track for net zero emissions, meaning that pledges will have to be ratcheted up in coming years. A group of experts suggested setting up a board of experts to review all national pledges every five years and give advice about how they could be strengthened. "It can’t force countries to do anything but it will make it much clearer what the gaps are," said Jennifer Morgan, of the World Resources Institute think-tank and lead author of the report by the group, called the ACT 2015 Initiative. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Leslie Adler)