China critical of Kyoto withdrawal plan

Updated: 2011-11-30 09:55


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DURBAN, South Africa - The plan to withdraw from Kyoto Protocol will severely mar the talking process at the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, the Chinese delegation told Xinhua on Tuesday.

It will further hurt the international community's endeavor to cope with climate change, said Su Wei, deputy head of the Chinese delegation to the Durban conference and chief negotiator on climate change.

The attempted withdrawal "will definitely add to the obstacles in our negotiation," Su noted, in reference to reports about a recent decision by the Canadian cabinet.

Su said the Canadian delegation to the Durban conference had not yet clarified its stance.

"I learnt this message from the media," he said.

Earlier in the day, Canadian media reported that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet had already decided to withdraw from the agreement, and had planned to formally announce the decision after the Durban conference.

A member of the so-called Umbrella Group, Canada stated earlier this year that it won't accept the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol after its first commitment period expires at the end of 2012.

The Umbrella Group, also including Japan, Australia and Russia, acts as a negotiating bloc in climate change talks that rejects new commitments.

An official in the Chinese delegation told Xinhua that Canada could hardly meet the emission cutting requirement even in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol, an attachment to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, is the only legally binding treaty in the world that requires developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.