China steps forward at Durban

China has said it would accept a legally-binding climate deal that would become active after 2020, when current pledges expire.

The conditions include a renewal of carbon-cutting pledges by rich nations as specified under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as short- and long-term climate financing for poorer countries.

“The problem now is that we have to see whether we have conscientiously implemented the legal documents we already have agreement on. This is a very important issue for us,” said China’stop climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua through an official Chinese translator.

China earlier refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, claiming that it was a developing country. The United States also did not sign for reasons including that an international agreement should include developing countries.

China is one of 194 nations currently participating in the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference will conclude on Friday.