China expects consensus to be reached at climate change talks in Paris

November 19, 2015 07:02
1 minute read.

China expects world leaders at upcoming climate talks in Paris to be able to reach consensus, the country's climate change special representative Xie Zhenhua said on Thursday, adding Beijing wants a legally binding treaty.

The Nov. 30-Dec 11 Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris will be the latest attempt by world leaders to forge a deal intended to avert more heatwaves, floods and rising seas following the failure of climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009.

Almost 200 nations attend the climate summit, with the legal status of a climate treaty one of the issues to be resolved.

The European Union and developing nations are urging an internationally binding text, others, such as the United States, want only national enforcement.

"Currently there are still some differences, but I believe that once the negotiations get underway, each country will fully play a constructive role and all will be able to adopt flexible positions," Xie told reporters. "In the final phase we should be able to obtain some consensus."

The United Nations says it is already clear the pledges by all governments to shift from fossil fuels will be insufficient to get on track to limit rising temperatures to a U.N. goal of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

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