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Daily Review
Special> United Nations Climate Change Conference> Daily Review
UPDATED: December 11, 2009
China: U.S., EU Expected to Do More on Emission Cuts

The United States and the European Union (EU) are expected to bring to the Copenhagen climate talks more notable targets on cutting its carbon emissions, the Chinese chief negotiator in UN climate talks said on Tuesday.

The U.S. target on emissions reduction and financial support to developing nations is key to the success of the ongoing Copenhagen climate change conference, Su Wei, the deputy head of the Chinese delegation to the Copenhagen conference, told a press conference.

In the run-up to the Copenhagen conference, Washington pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, equivalent to a reduction of 4 percent compared with 1990 levels.

Climate scientists were proposing a 25-40 percent cut in carbon emissions in order to keep global warming under control.

The U.S. goal could not be considered "notable," Su said.

Expectations are high for the conference to seek a legally binding deal on further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012. But the United States wants the conference to lead to only apolitical agreement.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who had originally scheduled a trip to Copenhagen for the early stage of the conference, now will join more than 100 other world leaders for the later, more crucial stage of the conference next week.

The Chinese chief negotiator also criticized the EU for proposing a goal that is "far from being enough" and Japan for setting impossible conditions on its reduction target.

The EU has committed to a voluntary reduction of 20 percent from 1990 levels and promised to raise the goal to 30 percent if others also aim high.

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, "developed nations should take the lead in reducing their carbon emissions by a large margin," Su said.

Commenting on a proposed "peak" of global emissions in a leaked Danish draft, the Chinese chief negotiator said setting a peak year for emissions is unfair to nations in the developing world and it is still premature to talk about a peak year.

Su's remarks echoed the criticism of the Group of 77 and China against developed nations a day earlier for their attempt to "shift responsibility of addressing climate change and its adverse effects on developing countries."

Speaking on behalf the Group of 77 and China at the opening plenary session of the Copenhagen conference, the head of the Sudanese delegation, Ambassador Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, said there is "a huge gap in developed countries leadership in modifying their longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions" as required by the convention.

"On the contrary, developing countries are now being required to take the leadership in cutting emissions while developed countries are continuously increasing their emissions and hence continuously over-occupying the global climate space," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2009)

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