By Xinhua writers Liu lili, Ren Haijun, Zhao Yan
CANCUN, Mexico, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The UN Climate Change Conference has started its high-level meeting stage. Although " compromise" is one of the key words in Cancun, the talks can not avoid argument among the parties. European Union, the U.S. and the Basic nations have held news conference to define their positions.
EU APPEAL FOR ACCEPTING NEW COMMITMENT PERIOD OF KYOTO PROTOCOL
Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding international treaty created for fighting against climate change, which has set mandatory emission reduction targets for the developing countries. The first commitment period of the Protocol will expire in 2012, and the negotiation of the second period is one of the focal points at the conference.
The Japanese delegation has shown its opposition to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was echoed by some countries including Canada and Russia, while Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia have said they will not sign any other accords unless developed nations sign on for a new period.
However, the European Union has shown a different attitude with Japan and Canada. EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard called on parties to commit to new period of the Kyoto Protocol.
She said the parties should try to preserve the Kyoto Protocol and try to develop it instead of spending several years in building a similar one. She also called on the parties to be flexible and adopt "the spirit of compromise."
U.S. STANDS BACK IN CANCUN
U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern said at Cancun conference that the U.S. will keep its promise with the domestic legislation to curb greenhouse gases with a premise. However, he said that the U.S. would reach emission reduction target by using administrative means even without domestic legislation before the conference started.
Many delegates describe U.S. attitude in emission reduction as "setback." Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that U.S. action in facing climate change was "disappointing" and it should meet its commitment in emission reduction.
U.S. negative attitude is one of the main obstacles of conference. "We did not sign Kyoto Protocol, because we very early knew the issue is very difficult. It has been proved," Stern said. He refused to make any prediction to the prospect of the negotiations.
BASIC NATIONS WILL NOT COMPROMISE ON PRINCIPAL ISSUES
The Basic nations including China, Brazil, India and South Africa said that they would not support a deal until a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol had been settled, a fast- track climate change fund had been materialized and a basic agreement had been reached on technology transfer.
According to Ramesh, the Basic countries hope some substantial achievements can be reached at Cancun conference, but the issues concerning to the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol, the fast-track climate change fund and technology transfer are nonnegotiable.
Xie Zhenhua, the head of the Chinese delegation, said that as developing countries, the Basic country is a part of the G77 and tries to protect the developing countries' interests.
"We Basic countries attend the Cancun conference with sincerity and try to promote to reach positive achievements at Cancun conference by cooperating with the governments around the world," he said.
MEXICO LOWERS EXPECTATION OF NEGOTIATIONS
Facing the differences among the parties at the conference, Mexico, as the host, has lowered its expectation to the results of the conference. The Mexican president Felipe Calderon said that maybe the parties can make agreements on small matters such as establishing green fund for developing countries, and it is hard to come to an agreement on a general climate treaty.
"If it is hard to reach bilateral agreements on some issues, it will be more difficult for the 200 nations to agree with each other," he said.
Calderon also said that some countries especially the U.S. always try to emphasize the economic development when talking about global warming, which causes negative influence on reaching a legally binding treaty of climate change. He added that the agreement can be put into practice as soon as the parties reach a consensus, the problematic issues can be left to be solved in the near future.