China declares Copenhagen a failure: source

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
December 17, 2009

China has told participants in the UN climate change talks that it sees no possibility of reaching an operational accord this week, an official involved in the Copenhagen talks says.

The official, who asked not to be identified by name, told Reuters that the Chinese had suggested instead issuing “a short political declaration of some sort”.

The statement from the world’s biggest polluter comes less than 24 hours before most world leaders are due to join the climate change talks in Copenhagen, where ministers and negotiators have made only modest progress at best.

Talks have been stalled by a widening rift between developing nations and the developed world.

Earlier Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it was possible that there would be progress on other issues such as emission cuts during the next day or so.

“I have a sense that as more heads of government arrive here in Copenhagen, that we will make some more progress. But can I just say, as I said yesterday, success at this Copenhagen conference is by no means guaranteed,” he said.

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