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‘China might not take climate change funding’

Last Updated: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 10:02

Beijing: China has said it might not take a share of any funding for emerging nations to fight climate change, the Financial Times reported Monday, in an apparent concession at fraught talks in Copenhagen.

"Financial resources for the efforts of developing countries (to combat climate change are) a legal obligation," Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told the newspaper in an interview in the Danish capital.

"That does not mean China will take a share -- probably not... We do not expect money will flow from the US, UK (and others) to China."

The world`s biggest polluter has said developed nations should take the lead in committing to substantial emission reduction targets, and provide financial assistance to poorer, developing countries battling climate change. Related article: Climate talks head into second week

So far, the European Union has pledged 7.2 billion euros (USD 10.6 billion) in aid, which emerging nations have slammed as "insignificant."

Beijing also insists that rich nations should provide technological assistance to emerging economies to help them fight global warming.

But amid an escalating war of words with the United States at the UN conference in Copenhagen, which is set to end on Friday, He`s appeared to be a conciliatory gesture.

"China will not be an obstacle (to a deal)," He said, according to the Financial Times.

"I know people will say if there is no deal that China is to blame. This is a trick played by the developed countries. They have to look at their own position and can`t use China as an excuse."

The world`s two largest carbon polluters have clashed on key issues such as how to share out the burden of slashing greenhouse gases or whether the United States owes developing countries a "climate debt."

China has vowed to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, but experts say given economic growth projections, its emissions could still double.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is expected in Copenhagen Wednesday and join other leaders, including US President Barack Obama, in crunch talks the next day.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 10:02

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