Global warming talks spark friction between US and China

Beijing buildings during heavy haze global warming

Buildings are seen in a heavy haze in Beijing’s central business district, Thursday. Credit: Jason Lee/Reuters

Nobody said crafting a new global warming treaty would be easy.

During the first four days of talks here aimed at building a truly global agreement to combat global warming, China has lashed out at the US, Europe, and Japan for offering what it sees as inadequate emissions targets.

The head of a bloc of developing countries, known as the G-77, has lashed out at – among others – the Danes, hosts of this gathering, for circulating a draft treaty that the G-77 finds flawed.

Meanwhile, US officials have pointed to China’s anticipated growth over the next several decades and says that math, not politics, is driving Washington’s insistence that China offer more than it has on greenhouse-gas control efforts – and that what they do must be verifiable from beyond the Great Wall.

Tiny Tuvalu, speaking for small-island nations, insists that any agreement this meeting achieves by Dec. 18 must be legally binding, and not a mere political agreement, since the survival of many island cultures hang in the balance.

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