* New draft documents being drawn up
* Vulnerable nations, EU complained about lack of ambition
* Talks expected to last all night
(Updates with new text to be drafted)
By Nina Chestney and Jon Herskovitz
DURBAN, Dec 9 Developing states most at
risk from global warming rebelled against a proposed deal at
U.N. climate talks on Friday, forcing host South Africa to draw
up new draft documents in a bid to prevent the talks collapsing.
South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
suspended the talks in Durban after a coalition of island
nations, developing states and the European Union complained the
current draft lacked ambition, sources said.
"There was a strong appeal from developing countries, saying
the commitments in the proposed texts were not enough, both
under the Kyoto Protocol and for other countries," said Norway's
Climate Change Minister Erik Solheim.
The European Union has been rallying support to its plan to
set a 2015 target date for a new climate deal that would impose
binding cuts on the world's biggest emitters of heat-trapping
gases, a pact that would come into force up to five years later.
Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent told Reuters there
was "serious negotiating to do" if the conference was to wrap up
as planned on Friday.
"The (current) draft discusses the legal framework. There
are different points of view and this is what this process is
all about," he said. "Legal framework works for us at this
The crux of the dispute is how binding the legal wording in
the final document will be. The initial draft spoke of a "legal
framework", which critics said committed parties to nothing.
The new draft being worked on by the hosts could mention a
"legal instrument", or even "protocol or other legal
instrument", language that implies a more binding commitment.
The EU strategy has been to forge a coalition of the willing
designed to heap pressure on the world's top three carbon
emitters -- China, the United States and India -- to sign up to
binding cuts. None are bound by the Kyoto Protocol.
EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said earlier that a
"small number of states" had yet to sign up to the EU plan and
that time was running out for a deal in Durban.
Washington says it will only pledge binding cuts if all
major polluters make comparable commitments. China and India say
it would be unfair to demand they make the same level of cuts as
the developed world, which caused most of the pollution
responsible for global warming.
Many envoys believe two weeks of climate talks in Durban
will at best produce a weak political agreement, with states
promising to start talks on a new regime of binding cuts in
"A crash is still a possibility. It is going to go on all
night. That much is clear," said Tim Gore, policy advisor at
U.N. reports released in the last month show time is running
out to achieve change. They show a warming planet will amplify
droughts and floods, increase crop failures and raise sea levels
to the point where several island states are threatened with
The dragging talks frustrated delegates from small islands
and African states, who joined a protest by green groups outside
as they tried to enter the main negotiating room.
"You need to save us, the islands can't sink. We have a
right to live, you can't decide our destiny. We will have to be
saved," Maldives' climate negotiator Mohamed Aslam said.
(Additional reporting by Andrew Allan, Agnieszka Flak and Stian
Reklev; editing by Jon Boyle)