Ministers head to climate change talks

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The Independent Online

A raft of Government ministers are heading to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in the coming days in a bid to push for an ambitious deal, officials said today.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband is travelling to the talks in time for meetings from tomorrow with "key counterparts" including the US, China, South Africa and Denmark, and will be joined from Monday by Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn is heading to the Danish capital over the weekend to lobby for ambitious efforts to reduce deforestation - which accounts for almost a fifth of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander will be in Copenhagen on Monday for talks with his counterparts on supporting poor countries in the fight against climate change.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown is one of more than 110 world leaders who have confirmed they will attend the closing stages of the talks, in a bid to secure a new deal to cut emissions and provide finance for poor countries to develop without polluting and cope with the impacts of global warming.