Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

China tells rich states to change

Queues of traffic (generic)
China says the rich world must shoulder most of the burden

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said developed countries should change their "unsustainable lifestyles" to tackle global warming.

Mr Wen said richer nations should help poorer ones solve the global problem.

United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer said rich countries had to transfer cleaner energy technologies to developing nations.

The two were speaking at a two-day conference in Beijing discussing climate change.

Mr Wen said the international community must not waver in its determination to tackle climate change.

But he made it clear where the main responsibility lay.

Developed countries had a "responsibility to tackle climate change and should alter their unsustainable lifestyle", he said.

'Weightier problem for us'

Among others, Chinese officials have previously suggested that rich nations use 1% of their gross domestic product to pay for the transfer of clean energy technologies to developing nations.

While promising China will play its part, Mr Wen said his country faced a more difficult task than developed countries.

He said it took rich countries several decades to get round to saving energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming.

"China has to solve the same problem in a relatively much shorter period," he said.

China has so far declined to place a cap its greenhouse emissions.

Technology transfer

Mr de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, also said richer nations should pay more to tackle the problem.

"If international technology transfer happens, countries like China will be able to take action which is not affordable to them at the moment," he said, speaking at the same conference as the Chinese premier.

He urged developed countries to speed up the transfer of these technologies.

The current treaty that tries to limit greenhouse gas emissions - the Kyoto Protocol - runs out in 2012.

Negotiators will start discussing what will replace it in Poland next month.

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