Beijing hits back at climate bickering

08:07, December 22, 2009      

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Wrangling between developed and developing countries over the disputed "Copenhagen Accord" continued Monday, despite the frantic two-week UN climate talks having ended over the weekend.

While Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao insisted that China played an "important and constructive" role in pushing the conference to its results, Britain said the meeting turned into a farce, putting the blame on Beijing.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a strong response Monday to Britain's criticism of China, reproaching the remarks by certain British officials as "clearly having a political scheme."

"Their purpose is to shift their responsibility of helping developing countries and to create tensions in China's relations with other nations. Such a scheme won't succeed," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told the Global Times Monday.

"We urge them to correct their mistakes, earnestly fulfill their duty in helping developing countries and not to disturb the international cooperation on curbing climate change," Qin said.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday accused some countries of holding the UN climate summit to ransom as bitter accusations swirled over the outcome of the negotiations.

While Brown refrained from naming countries, his climate-change minister, Ed Miliband, said China had led a group of countries that "hijacked" the negotiations, which had at times presented "a farcical picture to the public."

The agreement finally put together by a select group of leaders set no target for greenhouse-gas emissions cuts and is not legally binding - omissions that Miliband blamed on Beijing.

"We did not get an agreement on 50 percent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by developed countries," he wrote in yesterday's The Guardian. "Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries."

Miliband's aides told the daily that Sudan, Bolivia and other left-wing Latin American governments were included in the criticism.

On the same day, Wen defended Beijing's position, saying China "had expressed its fullest sincerity and made its utmost effort."

The Copenhagen Accord, Wen said, set "long-term goals" for the global community in addressing climate change, and "this is the result of the efforts from all sides and has wide approval. This result did not come easy and should be cherished."

"China is willing to push forward continued progress on international cooperation on climate change and make the necessary contributions on mankind's efforts to address climate change," the premier said in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency.
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