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Developing Nations United in Climate Talks, EU, US Differ

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Developing nations spoke as one on Monday in calling for the continued functioning of the Kyoto Protocol, while the European Union (EU) and the United States differed on what should emerge from two weeks of UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at the opening plenary session of the UN Climate Change Conference, head of the Sudanese delegation Ambassador Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim said developing countries reject developed countries' objective of "concluding another legally binding instrument that would put together the obligations of developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and similar actions of developing countries."

"This would revoke the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and historical responsibility under the convention by imposing these obligations as well on developing countries under the guise of a 'shared vision,'" said Ibrahim, referring to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, developed countries have committed to reducing their emissions by an average of 5 percent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012. Pressure was mounting for developed countries to commit to ambitious targets on emission cuts and funding for developing nations beyond 2012.

The Group of 77 and China also criticized industrialized countries for their attempt to "shift responsibility" of addressing climate change on developing countries.

There is "a huge gap in developed countries leadership in modifying their longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions" as required by the convention, he said.

"On the contrary, developing countries are now being required to take the leadership in cutting emissions while developed countries are continuously increasing their emissions and hence continuously over-occupying the global climate space," he added.

The African Group insisted on the full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol as the only legally binding instrument of the UNFCCC.

"The Convention should never be undermined. The Kyoto Protocol must survive and continue functioning as the main and most important implementing instrument for the Convention," the African Group said at the opening plenary session of the conference.

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