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Copenhagen Summit Aims to Renew Joint Actions in Fighting Climate Change

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The Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, aimed at strengthening cooperation among different countries in combating climate change and global warming, is to be held on December 7-18.

Underlining the importance of the event, most world leaders are expected to attend activities on the last two days of the summit to offer high-level backing to the talks.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has said that 98 national leaders including US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao have already confirmed their attendance.

As the first commitment period for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, would expire in 2012, the international community would endeavor to map out a plan for binding emissions cuts for the second commitment period from 2012 to 2020 at the upcoming summit.

The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in Kyoto in 1997, sets legally binding targets for developed countries to reduce emissions -- a major feature of the pact. These amount to cuts of an average 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

Prior to the Kyoto Protocol, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, but no mandatory limits on emissions were set.

The two accords advocate "common but differentiated responsibilities" and stipulate that developed countries should provide funds and technology to developing countries to help them tackle climate change.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said recently that a new agreement could and must be reached at the upcoming summit.

The agreement should include consensus on the following three aspects: the mid-term emissions cut targets by 2020 for developed countries; developing countries taking actions to cope with climate change in accordance with their respective conditions; and developed countries giving short-term and long-term funds and technical support to developing countries for adjusting and coping with climate change.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2009)