UN Climate Talks Head to Deadlock

United Nations global warming talks headed toward a deadlock as China and India blocked a European Union proposal the 27-nation bloc said was essential for it to extend limits on pollution.

India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said she objected to efforts by the EU to force developing nations into a legally-binding treaty limiting fossil fuel emissions by 2020. Chinese envoy Xie Zhenhua said rich nations are “not acting on their commitments” to cut greenhouse gases.

“India will never be intimidated by threats,” Natarajan said at the talks in Durban, South Africa today. “How do I give a blank check and give a legally-binding agreement to sign away the rights of 1.2 billion people?”

The EU said involvement of all nations in curtailing greenhouse gases is essential for it to extend the emissions limits in the Kyoto Protocol expiring next year. The Kyoto extension and the EU’s “road map” toward the next climate treaty are part of a package the UN proposed for envoys from more than 190 nations to debate in Durban.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard called for more talks between countries with “divergent views” after hearing India’s objections to the current draft text.

“We heard some interesting proposals from India on equity,” she said. Hedegaard stressed that the focus should be on helping “land this Durban package.”

The South African envoy hosting the talks said she’d work to break the deadlock.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in Durban, South Africa at amorales2@bloomberg.net; Andres R. Martinez in Durban, South Africa at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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