It is a mistake to say that the Kyoto protocol will expire in about two years, Liu Zhenmin, the deputy Chinese permanent representative to the UN, said here.
Liu refuted Friday the argument that the Kyoto protocol will expire in 2012 and that is why people have gathered in Copenhagen to negotiate a new agreement, Xinhua news agency reported.
"That's the wrong interpretation, to be frank," Liu said. "The Kyoto protocol will be effective after 2012."
"The Kyoto Protocol sets targets for developed countries to quantify their (emission) targets between 2008 until 2012," he said. "It's true. That's why we need a continuation of negotiations beyond 2012. But at the same time, Kyoto Protocol also has some other provisions and the other mechanisms."
"So as a legally binding document, the Kyoto Protocol will continue to be effective," Liu said. "That's why we don't (stand) in favor of the view that Copenhagen will negotiate a legally binding document to replace Kyoto protocol. It's a kind of a follow-up. It's an update, a continuation of the Kyoto process."
"Climate change negotiations started over 20 years ago," he said. "This is an incremental, progressive process so if you take the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) as a first milestone in the negotiating process, the Kyoto Protocol as the second milestone, I think that Copenhagen ought to be the third. Efforts for human kind to respond to climate change will not end in Copenhagen. They will continue. They need to continue."