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Asian leaders voice hope in climate deal

Last Updated: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 23:57

Hong Kong: Asian nations on Sunday welcomed the
provisional climate change deal struck by the major powers at
the UN summit in Copenhagen, saying it paved the way for
consensus over carbon emissions cuts.

The Copenhagen Accord, passed yesterday after two weeks
of frantic negotiations, was condemned elsewhere as a backdoor
deal that violated UN democracy, excluded the poor and doomed
the world to disastrous climate change.

But governments from China to Indonesia spoke of
"significant and positive results", "a direction for
negotiations" and satisfaction over a conclusion that
addressed their concerns.

China welcomed the outcome of the talks, despite leaders
at the summit failing to set targets to cut the carbon
emissions blamed for global warming.

"With the efforts of all parties, the summit yielded
significant and positive results," foreign minister Yang
Jiechi was quoted as saying in a statement on the ministry`s

Yang said the summit had successfully maintained the
principle of "common but differentiated responsibility," which
recognises differing economic circumstances between emerging
and rich nations.

China, the world`s biggest carbon polluter, has always
said rich countries should take the lead in committing to
substantial emission reduction targets and provide finance to
developing countries battling climate change.

The Copenhagen Accord set a goal of "jointly mobilising"
USD 100 billion for developing nations by 2020.

Yang added that the summit made a step forward with
regards to developed countries` mandatory emissions cuts and
developing nations` voluntary mitigation actions.

"Third, it reached broad consensus on the key issues of
long-term global targets, funding, technology support (to
developing countries), and transparency," Yang said, according
to the statement.

China has pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of
gross domestic product by 40 to 45% by 2020 based on
2005 levels.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in a
statement on his website: "Indonesia is pleased, as (we have)
taken a wholehearted stance to save our Earth, to save the
children in our country."

With the deal, "there is a direction for negotiations in
the middle of 2010 in Germany," Yudhoyono said.

Germany will host a conference on climate change in six
months in Bonn to follow up the work of the Copenhagen summit.
The final outcome could be sealed at a conference in Mexico
City at the end of 2010.


First Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 23:57
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