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Mexico calls for climate pact as 'catastrophic' hurricane speeds toward coast

As a potentially catastrophic hurricane menaces Mexico, the nation's top climate negotiator has called for a global climate accord. His comments came at the end of contentious UN talks in Bonn, Germany.

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Mexico braces for Hurricane Patricia

As the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere barrels towards Mexico's Pacific coast, the country's climate negotiator called on colleagues at UN climate talks to bridge their differences and reach a global pact.

"In about four hours, Hurricane Patricia will hit the Mexican coast," Roberto Dondisch said at the closing session of UN climate talks in Bonn meant to prepare for a major summit later this year in Paris. "I don't think I need to say more about the urgency to get this deal done."

"I ask you all to put aside your differences so together we can start working," he concluded.

Hurricane Patricia

The "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane with current maximum sustained winds up to 200 mph (325 km/h) was expected to hit Mexico's Pacific coast near the resort cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta late Friday local time. According to Mexico's weather service, winds could reach as high as 248 mph (400 km/h).

The Mexican government has deployed police and the army and declared a state of emergency in several municipalities in Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco states.

The storm poses a triple danger: high winds; a possible saltwater storm surge; and once it hits land and weakens, severe flooding and heavy rain all the way to Texas.

UN climate talks

The storm's timing comes as climate scientists have warmed global warming could cause much more severe weather and the Earth registered its warmest year on record so far in 2015.

The world's climate negotiators have been gathered in Bonn, Germany, this week to advance an agreement ahead of global climate talks scheduled for Paris between November 31 and December 11.

The final official week of negotiating before the key UN Paris meeting was fraught with haggling between developed and developing nations, as well as insufficient pledges to cut emissions to reach climate targets, leaving several matters unresolved ahead of the final talks in Paris.

cw/msh (AP, Reuters)

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