BEIJING (Reuters) - China is hopeful of “positive results” in the U.N. climate talks in Cancun, its chief negotiator to climate change talks said in comments published by state news agency Xinhua on Sunday.
There is widespread pessimism about the ongoing talks, as rich and developing nations have clashed over the future of the Kyoto Protocol for fighting global warming.
“As long as all parties have sincere political wills, China thinks the talks will eventually achieve positive and meaningful results, and is confident that it will reflect what was laid out in the Bali road map,” Chinese negotiator Su Wei told Xinhua.
China has said that climate talks should be guided by U.N. texts worked out since a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007.
Su said that the parties should compromise on the “small problems,” but added that there is “no room for compromise on principles,” for example, on the issue of whether the Kyoto Protocol should continue.
China accused some developed nations on Friday of seeking to kill the Kyoto Protocol pact — the United Nations’ main weapon in the fight against climate change to curb global warming — in a damaging standoff with Japan, Russia and Canada.
China, the world’s top carbon emitter, has long said it will not bow to pressure to rethink the Protocol.
Kyoto’s first phase, which binds about 40 rich nations to meet emissions targets, expires in 2012 and it is not clear on what happens after that, worrying investors who want long-term certainty on climate policies and financing.
Nearly all wealthy countries have signed up to legally binding emissions goals under Kyoto, with the big exception of the United States, which refused to become a party.
Developing nations, including China, are obliged to take voluntary steps to curb the growth of their emissions.
The United States and other rich nations want a new global pact to do away with that either-or division to reflect the surge in emissions from the developing world, now accounting for more than half of mankind’s annual greenhouse gas releases.
But developing countries such as China and India have refused to agree to binding targets before they see more ambitious cuts by the industrialized nations.
Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Mark Heinrich