China says some at climate talks want to "kill" Kyoto

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - China accused some nations on Friday at U.N. climate talks of seeking to kill the Kyoto Protocol pact for slowing global warming after Japan said it would not agree to extend carbon cuts under the deal.

“Some countries, so far, still don’t like the Kyoto Protocol,” Huang Huikang, a special representative for climate change negotiations at China’s foreign ministry, told a news conference at the November 29-to-December 10 climate talks in Mexico.

“And they even want to kill the Kyoto Protocol, to end the Kyoto Protocol,” he said. “This is a very worrying movement.”

He said the question of whether the 1997 Kyoto pact will survive was the main hurdle at the annual conference, which is seeking to agree to a modest package of measures to slow climate change after a 2009 summit in Copenhagen failed to work out a treaty.

Kyoto binds almost 40 developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions until 2012 and commits parties to an extension.

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But Japan has been adamant that other major emitters, including China and the United States have to join in a new, broader U.N. treaty to help slow what the U.N. panel of climate scientists says will be rising temperatures with desertification, droughts, floods and rising seas.

“Japan does not want to kill Kyoto. Kyoto killing is a kind of propaganda wording,” said Akira Yamada, a Japanese negotiator sitting beside Huang at a news conference. “We are not killing the Kyoto Protocol.”

The United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, so its backers account for just 27 percent of world emissions. A huge puzzle remains to design a new deal that would satisfy both rich and poor countries.

Developing countries favor the Protocol, which makes a clear distinction between industrialized and emerging economies, while many developed countries want a new agreement to include all major emitters.

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Venezuela and Bolivia said it was “unacceptable” that several developed countries had told them there could be no agreement on new emissions targets at the round of U.N. climate talks.

“The message we heard to our surprise was the following: there is no chance whatsoever of a second period of pledges here in Cancun,” said the head of the Venezuelan delegation, Claudia Salerno.

Carbon emissions trading markets want assurances of policies beyond 2012 to guide investments. The International Energy Agency says $18 trillion needs to be spent by 2030 to ensure a shift from fossil fuels toward cleaner energies.

Writing by Alister Doyle; Editing by Vicki Allen