Copenhagen: Ministers will have to work around the clock removing at least five stumbling blocks to ensure a successful outcome for the United Nations Climate Conference (COP15), Connie Hedegaard, the conference's president said on Dec 15.
The five hurdles include mitigation targets by developed countries, mitigation actions that developing countries must take, long-term finance to aid developing countries, concerns of small islands and the issue of "bunker oils" to bind aviation and transportation industries -- major emitters in the world -- into the global plan to slow down global warming.
Hedegaard, who is also Danish Environment Minister, said that the ministers had already worked late into the night of Dec. 14.
But "it is very clear that the ministers have to be extremely busy and focused in the next 48 hours if we want to make the success we are trying to make," she said.
The most serious impasse revolves around not only the emission reduction targets that will be set for developed countries, but also the actions that emerging economies must deliver to contribute to global efforts to slow down the global warming.
"We are still not there when it comes to commitments," she said. "One should not underestimate the complicated but very important issue of how to measure, report and not the least verify what developed countries, respectively developing countries are going to do," she said.
China is resolute about its targets of reducing the intensity of emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, Xie Zhenhua told a press conference following the one by Hedegaard and UN top climate official, Yvo de Boer.
Xie also reiterated other actions that China has promised to take to help slow down global warming, such as technological innovation and ensure the use of clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
However, Chinese delegates have also repeatedly stressed that emission reduction targets are not legally-binding for developing countries such as China under the Kyoto Protocol.
And China has stood by the Kyoto Protocol. While China welcomes establishing the mechanism for measuring, reporting and verifying its efforts to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it will do so when it receives full technological support and new technological transfer.
Acknowledging that China is "doing a great deal with a significant amount of engagement" in emission reductions, Todd Stern, climate change envoy of the US President Barack Obama, said China must "put what they are doing into the international agreement".
"This is a tough issue," Stern said at a press conference yesterday.