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China, developing countries crying foul over UN climate change summit in Bonn

Developing nations have accused rich ones of sidelining their interests at crunch climate talks in Bonn, Germany. UN chief and French president back ambitious global deal ahead of Paris summit.

The G77 group of more than 130 developing nations - including China and India - rejected a slimmed-down, draft agreement Monday that had been crafted for the five-day parlay in the former West German capital.

"When you take out the issues of others, you disenfranchise them, and disempower those who suffer the most," South Africa's climate envoy Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, who chairs the G77, told the AFP news agency.

At the heart of the dispute in the draft text, slashed from 80 to 20 pages by two diplomats – American and Algerian – tasked with guiding the process. Developing countries have complained that the revised text had left out key mechanisms agreed to previously such as financing for poorer nations and failed to hold richer developed nations to account.

But US delegation leader Trigg Talley insisted the new text could work as a basis for talks.

"This document has many things that most parties cannot agree with," he said.

The five-day Bonn talks is the last chance for official bartering on the wording of the text that nations have agreed to finalize at a November 30-December 11 UN climate conference in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande insisted that a binding agreement would be signed in France.

"The question is at what level the agreement will be reached, and whether we will be able to revise it regularly," he said.

Emission targets sought

In this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 file photo, steam and smoke rises from a coal burning power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Scientists say pledges submitted by more than 150 nations so far place Earth on course for warming closer to 3 C -- a world of catastrophic sea level rise, erratic weather and the spreading of infectious diseases.

A key pillar of the Paris pact will be binding pledges by national governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to two degrees celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Negotiators say they will make a new attempt Tuesday to tackle the tough job of line-by-line bartering on the contents of the pact.

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon complained of the "frustrating" and "slow" progress but said a deal would be made.

So far progess had been held back by "narrow national perspectives," he told reporters in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"We don't have any 'plan B' because we don't have any 'planet B'," he added.

jar/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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