China Says Letting Kyoto Treaty Wither Would Threaten UN Climate Talks

China said that scrapping the 1997 Kyoto protocol on global warming would threaten chances for an agreement to curtail climate change at a United Nations meeting in Cancun, Mexico this week and next.

“The Kyoto Protocol is the very basis of the framework to address climate change through international cooperation and it’s the indispensable pillar of the system,” China’s lead negotiator, Su Wei, told reporters in the Mexican resort. “If the pillar is collapsed, you can guess the consequences.”

The comments follow remarks from the head of the Japanese delegation yesterday that he wouldn’t agree to extend the agreement, which mandated greenhouse gas emissions reductions through 2012. Failing to extend the cuts would hurt trading worth $2.7 billion in carbon emissions credits linked to the UN- sponsored treaty.

Earlier today, the UN’s lead diplomat organizing the talks ruled out an agreement on extending Kyoto at this year’s talks.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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