Copenhagen climate change summit opens

19:32, December 18, 2009      

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More than 100 heads of state and government convened here on Friday to boost the global efforts to fight global warming as the UN climate change conference moved into the final summit segment.

"The purpose of this event is to look beyond Copenhagen," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said in an opening speech.

"We will listen to interventions presenting global perspectives on climate challenges we all face, and we will hear suggestions on how to address these challenges," he added.

The 12-day climate talks in Copenhagen that began on Dec. 7 has been tasked with sealing a deal to move forward the global fight against climate change after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

Negotiators worked overnight on a draft agreement to be adopted at the summit, but hard-fought bargaining continued even when the leaders arrived, with an opening ceremony held nearly two hours behind schedule.

The delay prompted Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to walk out of the conference room in protest.

Chavez accused U.S. President Barack Obama of late arrival, alleging rich countries had been holding secret meetings in the last minute.

Source: Xinhua
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