November 28, 2011 / 12:13 PM / in 7 years

China says "not optimistic" about climate talks

BEIJING, Nov 28 (Reuters) - China’s chief negotiator for climate change talks is “not very optimistic” about the results of global climate talks in Durban, state radio reported on Monday.

Countries will make a last ditch effort to save a dying Kyoto Protocol at global climate talks starting on Monday aimed at cutting the greenhouse gas emissions blamed by scientists for rising sea levels, intense storms and crop failures.

Major parties have been at loggerheads for years about the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005.

The agreement commits most developed states to binding emissions targets. The talks are the last chance to set another round of targets before the first commitment period ends in 2012.

“Now the prospects are not very optimistic,” Chinese negotiator Su Wei told state radio, without elaborating. “However, at least in developed countries, the European Union has expressed willingness to consider the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.”

The report said that there were widespread differences among the parties.

Envoys said there may be a political deal struck with a new set of binding targets, but only the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, Norway and Switzerland are likely to sign up at best.

Any accord depends on China and the United States, the world’s top emitters, agreeing binding action under a wider deal by 2015, something both have resisted for years.

China, the world’s top carbon emitter, is unwilling to make any commitments until Washington does while Russia, Japan and Canada say they will not sign up to a second commitment period unless the biggest emitters do too. (Reporting by Wan Xu and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

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