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Copenhagen: Good Wishes for Greener World

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Bearing good wishes for a greener world, the largest and most important United Nations climate change conference in history has begun. This is the top story everywhere. Delegates from big and small countries announced their goals for a greener world on the opening day.

Monday's opening included some 15-thousand delegates from 192 nations. They gathered in Copenhagen for negotiations on setting new global carbon emission targets.

At the heart of the deal will be a settlement between the wealthy countries and the developing world.

Yvo De Boer, UNFCC Executive Secretary, said, "We will need a list of ambitious reduction targets on the part of industrialized countries and we need to know what major developing countries will do to limit the growth of their emissions."

Each country attending the conference has its own particular priorities and concerns:

The US may still pledge to cut emissions about 17 percent by 2020.

China has pledged to curb carbon emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

India says it is ready to cut emissions intensity 20 to 25 percent by 2020.

While Russia's goal is a 40 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. The country is willing to reduce emissions between 20 and 25 percent from 1990 levels.

And the 27-member European Union aims to take action that would limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. The EU intends to cut carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

And some small countries, like Fiji, asked the negotiators at Copenhagen to come up with a deal to save the planet and their nation.

Leha Wickham, Fijian Climate Activist, said, "We need a deal that is fair to the poorest people and nations that have had little or nothing to do with the issue, but that will be affected the most. We need a deal that secures a safe planet for all peoples and nations. We need a deal that is fair, ambitious and legally binding."

Inside the conference center, members of the global "Avaaz" campaign network staged a so called "die-in" protest to demand action from world leaders, saying that 300,000 people die each year from climate change.

The first week of the summit will focus on refining the complex text of a draft treaty. But major decisions will await the arrival next week of more than 100 world leaders. The conference ends December 18.

(CCTV December 8, 2009)

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