Emerging nations pen climate change deal

08:10, November 30, 2009      

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Major emerging economies such as China and India agreed Saturday on a draft declaration listing their demands ahead of next month's climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Reuters reported Sunday.

Over two days of talks in Beijing, the countries said they had reached an agreement on major issues, including the need for the West to provide money and technology to developing nations to combat global warming.

The meeting was attended by officials from China, India, Brazil and South Africa, as well as Sudan, the current chair of the Group of 77 developing countries.

"The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for and contribute to a positive, ambitious and equitable outcome in Copenhagen," Reuters quoted a statement released after the talks as saying.

"We believe that this work represents a good starting point, and we will continue to work together over the next few days as our contribution to a consensus in Copenhagen," the statement said.

The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, saw the 10-page draft as contrary to the text that will be released by Western countries after next month's summit.

The meeting in Copenhagen was supposed to yield the outlines of a broader and tougher legally binding climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

But the troubled negotiations launched two years ago in Bali have failed to bridge the divide between rich and poor nations on efforts to curb emissions, how to measure and report them, and who should pay.

According to the Hindu's report, the idea of a draft from developing countries came from Beijing. Chinese climate negotiators last week wrote up a first text, which underwent revisions Saturday after other parties put forth recommendations.

The Beijing statement said the Kyoto Protocol should remain in force, with rich countries taking responsibility to cut emissions in accordance with the protocol's second commitment period from 2013.

"The Group of 77 and China is a major group of developing countries. Despite the different focus point each country has, these countries have similar demands and general principles on the climate change issue," Li Gao, an official from the Department of Climate Change of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said earlier. "An agreement among developing countries before the Copenhagen summit could help us form a united voice in order to make it loud enough to be heard."

Jairam Ramesh, union minister of state for environment and forests, told The Hindu, "It is a minimum, compromise draft and not ideal. But it takes into account all our concerns, and it is realistic as far as international requirements are concerned."

"The Copenhagen summit for the West is to compete for dominance, while for developing countries it is to fight for the right to development," said Zhou Shijian, a professor on Sino-US relations from Tsinghua University.

China has announced a new policy that calls for a 45 percent cut in carbon intensity by the year 2020, a target that received a positive reaction Friday.

Agencies contributed to this story

Source:Global Times
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