China doesn't want "empty" Copenhagen deal-Xinhua
BEIJING Nov 25 (Reuters) - China will demand next month's Copenhagen climate summit culminates in a real deal, Xinhua news agency quoted a Chinese negotiator as saying, but appears to have accepted that a legally binding agreement must wait until 2010.
"We will try to make the summit successful and we will not accept that it ends with an empty and so-called political declaration," Li Gao, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a forum on Wednesday.
"The Copenhagen conference will be a milestone and written into history, therefore, too much expectation has been put on it," Li was quoted saying, adding that talks so far had made some progress, but not enough.
December's Copenhagen summit was slated to settle a new framework to tackle global warming, but talks have been hobbled by a rift between developed and developing nations over who should cut emissions, by how much, and who should pay for it.
The Danish government, host of the talks, has proposed that the world delay a legally binding agreement until 2010 and instead aim to reach a comprehensive political deal.
U.S. President Barack Obama has backed the proposal but said he wants to see an agreement with "immediate operational effect".
In a boost to the Copenhagen meeting, the United States said this week it will propose an emissions reduction target with an eye towards winning support from U.S. lawmakers who must agree to put it into law.
The Obama administration had previously been reluctant to put an emissions reduction target on the table because the Senate has yet to pass a sweeping climate bill, hampering the U.S. position in the U.N. climate negotiations.
China has said only that it is "studying" the Danish plan, but Li appeared to tacitly accept it, saying that offers from rich nations on financing technology transfer and the cost of adaptation to a warmer world had paved the way for an agreement.
"It would be called a successful summit and possibly produce a framework," Xinhua quoted him saying in its English-language report. Li added that more detailed discussions would be completed in next year's meetings.
Beijing has invested large amounts of diplomatic capital in reaching a new deal. President Hu Jintao earlier this year unveiled the country's first pledge to curb carbon emissions -- by cutting so-called carbon intensity -- at a United Nations summit. [ID:nN22195458]
For more stories on Copenhagen, please click [ID:nLL527527] (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Emma Graham-Harrison and David Fogarty) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +86 10 6627 1200; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org))
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