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October 6, 2009

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Kyoto: China slams rich nations

CHINA has accused rich countries of slowing progress at the United Nations climate talks, saying they are spending their energy trying to dismantle the Kyoto Protocol rather than negotiating the hard targets necessary to reduce emissions.

Delegates from about 180 nations are meeting in Bangkok, trying to bridge differences over a draft negotiating text that will allow all countries to deepen efforts to slow the pace of climate change.

The UN hopes a major meeting in Copenhagen in December will lead to a broader framework to expand or replace Kyoto, whose first phase ends in 2012.

The talks are deadlocked on rich nations toughening their commitments to cut emissions by 2020 and climate funds to help poorer nations adapt to the impact of climate change, invest in clean energy and manage those funds.

Yu Qingtai, China's top climate envoy, said industrialized countries were trying to change the rules.

"In my view, the fundamental reason for a lack of progress is the lack of political will on the part of Annex 1 countries," Yu said, using a term that refers to industrialized countries.

"Are we prepared to take real action to match our words? Are we serious about our commitments?" he said.

Yu told reporters: "I have yet to see a developed country or a group of developed countries coming up to say to the public, the international community and to their own people that they are not here to kill the Kyoto Protocol."

Lumumba D'Aping, who chairs the G77 plus China negotiating group, said: "It has become self-evident and actually clear that the intention of the developed countries is to kill off the Kyoto Protocol."

Sweden's chief negotiator, Anders Turesson, said Europe was faithful to the Kyoto system. "We are going to ensure the Kyoto system can be revived and strengthened into the future," he said. "It is a holistic system with commitments, with instruments, with compliance systems. We cannot pick and choose."

Kim Carstensen, who heads conservation group WWF's global climate initiative, said: "The frustration of developing nations is all too clear. They are tired of all the talk and with little concrete actions to back them up."


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