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China offers terms for legally binding climate deal

China has reportedly offered a package of conditions which it wants fulfilled – but opens the door for a deal on carbon emissions.

Image: Schalk van Zuydam/AP

CHINA HAS INDICATED that it is willing to sign up to  a package of legally binding limits for carbon emissions, as climate talks continue in South Africa.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail paper reports that the Chinese negotiator at the Durban talks, Xie Zhenhua, has said China is open to signing up to a deal – but offered a list of conditions that must be offered by other countries first.

The new limits would come into place after 2020, according to China’s demands.

The paper’s report said that negotiations had largely stalled – following on from the failure to strike a deal at the last similar talks in Copenhagen two years ago – but that China’s offer had provided a “glimmer of hope”.

The Chinese press conference followed indications from the European Union that it would look to further talks with China, which remains the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

EU commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she will ask China about its signals in the last week that it is willing to begin negotiating on bringing major developing countries into a legally binding deal on their emissions controls.

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Hedegaard said it is unclear how far China will commit to an international emissions accord.

Additional reporting by AP

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Gavan Reilly

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