"At Odds on Emissions, U.S., China Open Talks"

"BEIJING -- Senior U.S. and Chinese officials began three days of talks here Monday in hopes of making a breakthrough on climate change, but they remain far apart on the basic issue of who is to blame for carbon emissions and should shoulder the biggest burden for reducing them.

Both countries, which together produce roughly 40 percent of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions, have been making what they say are major efforts in recent years to reduce pollution within their borders, but each accuses the other of not doing enough.

Experts say that unless the United States and China can reach an agreement, it will be difficult to arrive at a new climate change treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol at a meeting in Copenhagen in six months.

Todd D. Stern, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's envoy on climate change, said in a speech in Washington before he left for this week's talks that China's current reductions are insufficient....

On Friday, China's official New China News Agency criticized developed countries for trying to shift responsibility to developing countries."

Ariana Eunjung Cha reports from Beijing for the Washington Post June 9, 2009.

Thursday, June 11, 2009