Developing countries led by China squabbled with the West over mandatory emission cuts at the Bali climate change conference, as activists accused Canada on Saturday of undermining the negotiations by insisting on targets for poor nations.
China, which some believe has surpassed the United States as the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, questioned the fairness of binding cuts when its per capita emissions are about one-sixth of America's. It said, too, that it has only been pumping pollutants into the atmosphere for a few decades, whereas the West has done so for hundreds of years.
"China is in the process of industrialization and there is a need for economic growth to meet the basic needs of the people and fight against poverty," said Su Wei, a top climate expert for the government and member of its delegation at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali.
Delegates from nearly 190 nations are attending the Dec. 3-14 meeting in Bali and are likely to agree to launch negotiations that will lead to an international accord to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming. They also are expected to set a deadline for completing negotiations and agree on some of the issues to be discussed.
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