Asian leaders voice hope in climate deal
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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 website.

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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