Obama: Climate talks should yield pact with 'immediate' effect

BEIJING, Nov 17 (AFP) - US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States and China want climate change talks in Copenhagen next month to result in a global accord that has "immediate operational effect."

We "agreed to work toward a successful outcome in Copenhagen," Obama told journalists following talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Our aim there is... not a partial accord or a political declaration, but rather an accord that covers all the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect."

Failure by the United States and China to reach agreement on combatting climate change has been seen as a significant obstacle to the successful conclusion of the December 7-18 UN gathering in the Danish capital.

Obama said China and the United States had agreed to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but gave no specifics.

"We agreed that each of us would take significant mitigation actions and stand behind these commitments," Obama said as Hu looked on.

"As the two largest consumers and producers of energy, there can be no solution to this challenge without the efforts of both China and the United States."

His statement appeared to run against an assessment reached Sunday by leaders of the Asia-Pacific region, including Obama and Hu, that an internationally legally-binding agreement would be difficult to reach in time for Copenhagen.

Complex negotiations towards a legally enforceable successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which expires in 2012, were likely to continue after the Copenhagen conference, the Asia-Pacific leaders said.

Hu also said China and the United States had agreed to work toward an accord in Copenhagen, while repeating Beijing's insistence on the different "responsibilities" rich and poor nations have in addressing climate change.

"We also agreed to act on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities and consistent with our respective capabilities to work with other parties concerned to help produce positive outcomes from the Copenhagen conference."

MySinchew 2009.11.17