By Liu lili and Wang Yujue
CANCUN, Mexico, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The international community has come to a crossroads in its tough struggle to tackle global warming as the United Nations Climate Change Conference starts in Mexico's Cancun on Monday.
It is generally believed that sincerity is all the more needed to make substantial achievements at Cancun, despite mounting difficulty to reach a legally-binding treaty.
WILL A NEW AGREEMENT BE FINALLY REACHED?
As participants from governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and research institutions from 180 countries gather in Cancun, a resort city of Mexico, the meeting offers the last but one chance for parties to reach a legally-binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.
To continue to fight against climate change, it is an urgent task for all to reach a new agreement on energy saving and emission reduction.
Many analysts, however, think the chance to reach a legally-binding treaty is slim. Developing countries and developed countries are far apart on many issues, with the extension of the Kyoto Protocol and financial and technological support for developing countries as the sticking point.
Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Brazil in 1992 established the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to tackle the challenge, climate talks over the past two decades have not been purely about technical issues, but involved political wrestles.
Some developed countries tried to shirk their responsibility of reducing the emissions and providing financial and technological help to developing countries.
Developing countries wanted to extend Kyoto Protocol because they think the rich nations should assume the responsibility for the large share of global warming during their industrialization process. But the developed countries tried to create a new treaty and abandon the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
Many participants at the conference are hopeful that substantial progress will be made in materializing financial support and technology transfer to developing countries, but they share the view that a legally-binding treaty at Cancun seems unlikely.
Special Report: Global Climate Change