China digs in climate heels as EU summit opens

China digs in climate heels as EU summit opens

Ahead of a conference on global warming in Copenhagen, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said he discussed China's position over dinner yesterday with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

"I certainly asked the Chinese and all our partners to explore the outer limits of their position," the head of the European Union executive told reporters late Sunday.

"What is at stake is very important: it's the future of our planet," Barroso said ahead of today's formal summit with Wen and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who holds the rotating EU presidency.

Detailing its Copenhagen offer last week, Beijing said that by 2020, it would curb emissions per unit of gross domestic product by between 40 and 45 per cent compared to 2005 levels.

The pledge was not to cut greenhouse gas emissions but was essentially a vow of greater energy efficiency that would see China's fast-growing emissions continue to grow along with its economy.

The official People's Daily newspaper said the meeting included representatives from China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Sudan, which currently chairs the Group of 77 developing countries.

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