China urges way out of "deadlock" in Durban climate talks
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's chief climate official called on developed countries to come up with their own national initiatives to cut carbon emissions in order to avoid "deadlock" at next month's global climate change talks in Durban, South Africa.
Xie Zhenhua, vice-director of the National Development and Reform Commission in charge of China's efforts to combat climate change, said a number of countries were unwilling to participate in a binding new global climate pact once the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.
He told official news agency Xinhua that some nations were unwilling to take part in a second "commitment period" because countries such as the United States had so far refused to accept legally binding CO2 targets, thus threatening the "environmental integrity" of the Kyoto Protocol.
He suggested "comparable" efforts to reduce emissions by both developed and developing nations could help push negotiations along, even if they were not part of the Kyoto Protocol.
Xie said the talks in Durban were unlikely to produce a massive breakthrough.
"Everyone will be dissatisfied, but everyone will be able to accept it," he was quoted as saying.
He said his proposals had already won support among developing nations.
As part of the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries are subject to binding greenhouse gas emissions targets, but developing countries including China have been exempt under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
The European Union has been seeking ways to commit big greenhouse gas producers like China and India to pledge bigger reductions, but Beijing has insisted that industrialized countries should bear most of the burden.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Ken Wills)