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US defends ‘enormous’ climate efforts at UN talks

DOHA, Qatar — Anticipating an onslaught of criticism from poor nations, the United States claimed ‘‘enormous’’ strides in reducing greenhouse emissions at the opening of UN climate talks Monday, despite failing to join other industrialized nations in committing to binding cuts.

The US approach underscores one of the major showdowns expected at the two-week conference as China pushes developed countries to take an even greater role in tackling global warming.

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Speaking for a coalition of developed nations known as the G77, China’s delegate, Su Wei, said rich nations should become party to an extended Kyoto Protocol — an emissions deal for some industrialized countries that the Americans long ago rejected — or at least make ‘‘comparable mitigation commitments.’’

The United States rejected the Kyoto accord because it didn’t impose any binding commitments on major developing countries such as India and China.

US delegate Jonathan Pershing offered no new sweeteners to the poor countries, only reiterating what the United States has done to tackle global warming, such as investing heavily in clean energy.

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