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EU urges developing countries to stop blaming rich nations for Earth's changing climate

Developing countries should stop blaming rich nations for the Earth's changing climate and take immediate action to avert the catastrophic effects of global warming.

A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the United Nations network of 2,000 scientists is being debated in Bangkok this week by delegates from more than 120 governments. A final version is expected by Friday.

China, the world's second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States, has said richer countries are responsible for global warming and should take the lead in cleaning up the problem.

The United States and Australia have refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. treaty on climate change, partly over objections that China and India are not held to carbon pollution reduction targets.

While he didn't single out any countries, Tom van Ierland a member of the EU delegation called on governments to stop using the inaction of some of the world's biggest polluters as an excuse for not implementing their own policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"We hope that kind of discussion can subside because we don't think it's the right one," van Ierland said. "Some countries do use this rhetoric. It's a bit sad because there are things to do."

Impoverished nations face the greatest impact from unchecked climate change.

Even a 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) temperature rise could subject up to 2 billion people mostly in the developing world to water shortages by 2050, the IPCC says.

Some delegates from developing countries expressed fears Tuesday about the predicted effects of climate change, including increasingly violent storms, drought, and floods.

"Africa is a victim of climate change, it is not contributing to CO2 emissions," said Younis Al-Fenadi, the lone delegate from Libya. "The final report should include promises of assistance to Africa, money for training, planning and education."

Orvin Paige, of the delegation from the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, said he was frustrated that talks so far in Thailand have dwelled on technical issues.

"I would really like the discussions to turn to what can we expect, what are the real hazards?" Paige said. "I hope we can hear about what assistance we get that would help us."

Two previous IPCC reports this year painted a dire picture of a future in which unabated greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 6 degrees C (11 degrees F) by 2100.

The report being debated this week stresses the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options including investing in energy efficiency, shifting away from coal and reforming the agriculture sector to keep the temperature rise to 2 degrees C and avert the worst impacts of climate change.

For it to be considered valid by the United Nations, the IPCC draft must be unanimously approved by the 120-plus governments that participate, and all changes must be approved by the scientists.

While the report does not mandate action like the Kyoto Protocol, it could influence negotiations over future climate pacts.

In its first report this year, the scientific panel expressed its greatest confidence yet that global warming is being caused largely by the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

The second predicted catastrophic consequences unless man stops burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases.

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