‘Midnight Sun’ climate summit opens in Sweden

Environment ministers and representatives from some 30 countries met on Monday in the northern Swedish town of Riksgränsen for an informal summit on global warming, officials said.

The Midnight Sun Dialogue on Climate Change opened late Monday with an address by the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri.

Prior to the meeting, which was being held behind closed-doors, Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said participants would be “free to discuss in detail what we need to jointly agree on in order to meet climate objectives.”

He underlined the importance of discussing concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including “development of emissions trading, technology transfer to developing countries and measures to combat deforestation.”

Among the countries participating were Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, South Africa and the United States.

The meeting comes just days after a Group of Eight summit in Germany where world leaders agreed to make “substantial” cuts in global carbon emissions by 2050.

In December, negotiations will take place on the Indonesian island of Bali to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The “Midnight Sun” summit — so called because the venue is above the Artic Circle where the sun can currently be seen 24 hours a day — was due to close on Thursday.