Rich nations stalling climate agreement: WWF

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Copenhagen, Dec 15: A senior official of the international NGO WWF has said the rich countries are holding up the progress towards an agreement at the climate summit here.

WWF Head of Climate Policy Kim Carstensen said, "The lack of ambition by industrialised countries to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) is a disaster."

"I am still hoping we'll be able to make them improve their commitments, for example, to make the EU increase its (GHG reduction) commitment from 20 per cent to 30 per cent."

"I'm also hoping that we can make Japan hold on to the high end of the commitments it has made. Russia can do much more than the 25 per cent reduction it has announced, and we are hoping it will," he said.

Carstensen also expressed dissatisfied over rich countries for not offering more money to help poor nations cope with the effects of the climate change that the rich had caused.

When asked to react to the strong possibility that the Copenhagen summit will not be able to come up with any legally binding deal, Carstensen said, "It is really important to get the deal sealed now. We need specific commitments, with clarity on who is doing what.

"We have the political momentum now. At last count, 120 heads of state and government are supposed to come here this week. This will not be repeated soon, and we must take full advantage of this opportunity," Carstensen added.

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