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August 12, 2009

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Onus on developed nations

DEVELOPED countries should turn their policy promises into action to ensure substantial progress in the current negotiations over climate change, a key Chinese environmental official said.

Yu Qingtai, China's special representative to the UN climate change talks, spoke on the sidelines of this year's third session of the talks, which opened in Bonn, Germany, on Monday.

About 2,000 people from around the world attended the meeting, which will focus on a text that was drafted during talks in June.

Yu said the negotiation process has moved very slowly since the "Bali Road Map" was settled in 2007 because the developed countries did not want to fulfill their responsibilities and take real action.

The two major obstacles, Yu said, are the lack of political will by the developed nations to take the lead in emissions cuts and the lack of substantial progress in providing financing and technology to developing countries.

Developed countries should and must take the lead on emissions cuts, which is the common wish of the developing nations, Yu said.

"One of the major tasks for Copenhagen is to make new emissions cut targets for developed countries," he said, referring to a December meeting in which world leaders will gather in the Danish capital to reach an agreement on a new climate deal that will replace the existing Kyoto Protocol.

Yu expressed hope that the Copenhagen meeting would be successful, and he was "cautiously optimistic" about the possibility of reaching a new agreement on emissions cuts.


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