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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China confident in the face of conflict

By  Li Jing (China Daily)

08:15, December 05, 2011

DURBAN, South Africa - China's top climate negotiator said he is upbeat about the possibility of progress as talks enter a second week, despite differences among countries on issues such as the extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the creation of a Green Climate Fund.

"These are two major talking points for negotiators here in Durban," said Xie Zhenhua, deputy minister of the National Development and Reform Commission. "However, this week we need to settle on how nations can take concrete action before 2020."

The Kyoto Protocol is the only international climate treaty that binds industrialized countries to targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first commitment period expires next year.

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said she has seen positive signs, as countries "begin to understand where a common ground could be found".

"The discussion is no longer whether we will have a second commitment period, but rather how governments would like to conform to that," she said.

A negotiation draft with more than 130 pages was readied at the weekend for arriving heads of state and ministers to narrow down options over the coming week.

Developing nations have insisted that the extension of the Kyoto Protocol is a cornerstone for the whole climate regime.

However, Japan, Canada and Russia have said they will not renew emissions-reduction pledges under the protocol, while the European Union wants to start negotiations for a new climate deal that binds all countries.

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