In advance of the December UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, negotiators are keying in on goals that UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth describes as "the building blocks" of a global climate treaty. Developed countries are working to raise funds to decrease deforestation in Latin America in part to defuse concerns among poorer countries about linking climate funding to accountability for carbon-emissions reductions. Leaders hope that by approaching specific problems individually, such as deforestation, they can build consensus that will carry over into other areas of debate.

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