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China Seeks Climate Compromise on 'Disastrous' Kyoto Debate
2010-12-04 21:52:29.318 GMT
By Alex Morales
Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- China said it's prepared to
compromise in a debate between developing countries and Japan
that could be "disastrous" for the outcome of United Nations
climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.
China's lead climate negotiator Su Wei said he's prepared
to drop a demand that developed countries spell out this year
the level of greenhouse gas emissions cuts they would make under
a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Instead, he's willing to
accept assurances the treaty will continue.
"In the spirit of compromise we would consider any options
that would keep open the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol,"
Su said today in an interview in the Mexican resort. "Not the
numbers, but a clear confirmation to have a second commitment
period. We don't just want signals. We've been talking about
signals since 2005. We need a confirmation in crystal terms."
The comments suggest a way to break an impasse between rich
and poor nations over how to limit the gases blamed for global
warming once the restrictions outlined in the 1997 Kyoto treaty
expire in 2012. Su said that while countries have waited "too
long" for new numerical goals, "we can have more time to
negotiate on those specific targets."
Earlier this week, Japan's delegates said they won't accept
a second commitment period under Kyoto because it sets no limits
for the U.S. and China, the biggest emitters. That prompted
envoys from Bolivia and Venezuela to say they'll reject any
package of decisions that omits new targets for the 37 nations
bound by the pact.
$100 Billion Fund
The conflict threatens to stall advances made on tackling
deforestation, setting up a $100 billion fund to channel climate
aid to developing nations and on measuring and verifying
emissions cuts. Su said China is open to a solution that ensures
a continuation of the Kyoto pact, leaving decisions on the
precise level of cuts for after the Cancun meeting.
Japan argues that the Kyoto Protocol is no longer up to the
task of fighting climate change, because it covers less than 30
percent of global emissions. Canada and Russia are also opposed
to continuing Kyoto, Christiana Figueres, the UN diplomat who
leads the talks, said yesterday.
"That damages the atmosphere and damages the process to
reach a balanced outcome in Cancun," Su said. "It's very
detrimental, even disastrous for the whole climate regime."
Su said agreeing to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol
is one element of a deal to be reached in Cancun. The other
elements include spelling out actions to be taken by the U.S.,
the only developed nation not to ratify Kyoto and the climate
aid fund, which would help developing nations cut emissions and
adapt to the effects of climate change.
Measures to protect forests, the establishment of a
mechanism to develop and transfer low-carbon technology such as
wind turbines and solar panels to developing nations, and the
establishment of an "adaptation committee," would complete the
deal, he said. In all areas, more detailed work can be conducted
after Cancun, he said.
"It's a matter of balance," Su said. "I don't think any
country will stand in the way of a balanced outcome."
For Related News and Information:
Top environment and renewable energy stories: GREEN <GO>
Stories about the climate talks: NSE CLIMATE CANCUN <GO>
Locations of global energy facilities: BMAP <GO>
--With assistance from Kim Chipman in Cancun. Editors: Reed
Landberg, Mark Rohner
To contact the reporter on this story:
Alex Morales in Cancun, Mexico, at +44-20-7330-7718 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or