China buoys climate talks with "binding" target
By Chris Buckley and Russell Blinch
CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - China on Monday offered for the first time to submit its voluntary carbon emissions target to a binding U.N. resolution, buoying climate talks where Bolivia accused rich world policies of causing "genocide."
China's target would still be voluntary, stressed China's chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua, a distinction from developed nation targets under Kyoto: "Developing countries can ... make their own voluntary emissions commitments and these should be under the Convention."
The November 29-December 10 talks in Mexico's Cancun beach resort are split over how to harden existing pledges made at last year's Copenhagen summit, which ended in a brief, non-binding agreement.
China's offer to make its existing, domestic pledge to slow growth in carbon emissions binding under a U.N. resolution is a compromise it hopes will encourage developed countries to continue the existing Kyoto Protocol.
"We can create a resolution and that resolution can be binding on China," said Huang Huikang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's envoy for climate change talks.
"Under the (U.N. Climate) Convention, we can even have a legally binding decision. We can discuss the specific form. We can make our efforts a part of international efforts."
"We're willing to compromise, we're willing to play a positive and constructive role, but on this issue (Kyoto) there's no room for compromise."
Developing nations want to continue the first, 2008-2012 round of Kyoto, which binds the emissions of nearly 40 developed countries, while industrialized backers including Japan, Russia and Canada want a separate agreement regulating all nations. Continued...