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Australian PM warns Copenhagen talks face 'failure'

world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 16:34 IST
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday warned that troubled global climate talks were at risk of "failure" and urged world leaders to adopt a more flexible approach.

Rudd, who is due to arrive at the summit on Wednesday, said key polluters like China and India had made positive statements but as the talks enter their second week, a consensus looked difficult to achieve.

"There's a big risk that we will have conflicting views between developed and developing countries," Rudd said. "And there is always a risk of failure here."

Rudd, who will be a deal-brokering "friend of the chair", said it would be difficult to reach a "consensus up the middle" given the often opposed positions of developed and developing nations.

"I think, though, to land a strong agreement in Copenhagen we are going to have to see more compromise all round -- from the big developed economies as well as the emerging economies," the prime minister told Sky News.

"We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

Rudd said cutting greenhouse gas emissions, financing and verification would be major points of discussion at the talks designed to reach a landmark deal that can be endorsed on Friday by about 120 world leaders.