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Historic UN Climate Talks Open in Copenhagen

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The UN conference on climate change has opened in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The two-week, biggest-ever UN climate talks have drawn more than 15-thousand people, including delegates from over 190 countries. Over 100 heads of state and international organizations are also attending.

The opening ceremony began with a cultural segment presented by the host government, Denmark.

A four-minute-long film Please Help the World was first played.

The Danish National Girls Choir then sang a song called "All Life Is Your Life."

Speakers at the ceremony included Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, Conference President, who is also from Denmark, Connie Hedegaard, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer and the UN chief climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri.

Rasmussen was the first to address the thousands of delegates at the ceremony.

Lars Loekke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, said, "Global warming has no borders, we're all committed to take actions, that's why we need a long-term agreement."

The two-week-long climate conference aims to hammer out a new agreement to curb global warming, and replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

A key issue is cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists blame the excess amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere for raising average global temperatures over the past decades.

The UN says rich nations must accept deep cuts in their emissions by 2020.

They will also seek deals on how much financial assistance rich countries should provide to help poor nations deal with climate change.

UN officials say greenhouse gases must be reduced by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 to below 1990 levels to keep temperatures from rising above the less dangerous range of 2 degrees Celsius.

(CCTV December 8, 2009)