U.N. Climate Talks Begin Cancun

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Expectations are lowering at the U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, as the world tries to agree on modest steps to rein in global warming. This is a two week conference, which aims to agree on a tougher climate deal to curb green house emissions. And it's hoped to be a change from last year's disappointing Copenhagen summit.

As a new round of climate talks begins in Mexico, the message from environmentalists is clear.

Greenpeace made their point over the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza on Monday as the U.N. climate change conference began at the nearby beach resort of Cancun.

There, other environmental activists were out to pressure delegates to come up with some concrete steps to tackle climate change.

But green groups also said individuals can make a difference by changing their eating habits.

[Ruth Stannard, Protester]:
"If we mitigate the dangerous gases like methane we can slow down global warming and we can work on green technologies then and buy ourselves more time. But we have to work on these dangerous, short-lived gases first before we start concentrating on the others. And this is an issue that can be addressed easily just by people changing their diet."

Representatives from almost 200 countries at the conference hope to be able to restore credibility to the talks after last year's disappointing Copenhagen summit.

The result last time around was a non-binding agreement rejected by a clutch of developing countries who said climate targets shouldn't hinder their growth.

Mexican president Felipe Calderon though said it's possible to fight global warming and poverty at the same time.

[Felipe Calderon, Mexican President]
"It is perfectly possible to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and at the same time not only sustain economic growth but also find new ways of productivity and of growth and of job creation in green growth and development in sustainable development."