France hails ‘modest’ gains in UN climate deal

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Conférence sur le changement climatique, le 7 décembre 2012 à Doha © AFP/Archives Karim Jaafar

PARIS – (AFP) – France on Monday hailed “modest but essential” gains in a new set of agreements combatting climate change reached after tough talks in the Qatari capital Doha.

“The agreement… includes modest but essential advances to continuing the international commitment against the threat of climate change,”

French foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said.He said that throughout the talks France emphasised “the insufficient efforts against climate change and the need to go further… to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The conference passed the package after 12 days of tough haggling in Doha, extending until 2020 the life of the Kyoto Protocol, the only binding pact on curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

But critics say the deal was watered down as the protocol locks in only developed nations, excluding major developing polluters such as China and India, as well as the United States which refuses to ratify it.

The European Union and the 10 other developed countries that signed up for the extension are jointly responsible for about 15 percent of the world’s emissions.

© AFP

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