China “positive” on US climate talks

Sounding a positive note at the end of a two-day visit to Beijing by the US global warming envoy Todd Stern, China said it was committed to making the Copenhagen climate conference in December a success, the Associated Press reported. Qin Gang, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, provided few details, but said the two sides were pushing for “positive results”.

Qin reasserted China’s insistence on “common but differentiated responsibilities”, under which developed countries such as the United States would bear most of the responsibility for reducing planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions.

So far, US officials have failed to reach a consensus with China on reducing emissions. Top Chinese advisers on the issue have dismissed American and Australian proposals to reduce their levels as too little, while rejecting demands on developing economies such as China as unrealistic.

Qin portrayed this week’s talks between US and Chinese officials, including vice premier Li Keqiang, as constructive. The two sides pledged to increase exchanges and cooperation on environmental and clean energy issues and technology as part of regular economic talks. According to the Xinhua news agency, Li told Stern that “China has noticed the change of the US government on climate change as well as the positive measures it has taken”.

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