* U.N. talks host urges delegates to accept pact
* Developing states say draft is too weak to save planet
* Acrimonious exchanges at climate talks
By Jon Herskovitz and Nina Chestney
DURBAN, Dec 11 The chairwoman of U.N.
climate talks urged delegates to approve a compromise deal on
fighting global warming in the interests of the planet, but an
accord remained elusive on Sunday and rich and poor states
traded barbs over the limited scope of the package.
South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said
the four separate texts represented a good outcome after two
weeks of sometimes angry debates in the port city of Durban.
"I think we all realise they are not perfect. But we should
not let the perfect become the enemy of the good and the
possible," she told the conference.
Much of the discussion has focused on an EU plan designed to
push major polluters -- from developed and fast-growing emerging
economies like China and India -- to accept legally binding cuts
in their greenhouse gas emissions.
EU negotiators had accepted "legal instrument" in one draft
as a phrase implying a more binding commitment. But the latest
version spoke of a "protocol, another legal instrument or a
legal outcome", the sort of weak phrasing that almost collapsed
the talks on Friday.
Asked if the latest language was acceptable, Karl Hood, who
represents an alliance of 43 small island states, said: "No it's
not. Never was and never will be. It's too broad a statement."
His alliance colleague MJ Mace, added: "You need a legally
binding instrument. You have legal outcomes all the time. A
decision is an outcome. You need something treaty like."
The discusions took an increasingly bitter turn as they
headed into Sunday, a second extra day that made the
negotiations the longest in two decades of U.N. climate talks.
Venezuela's climate envoy Claudia Salerno said she had
received threats because of her objections to the draft texts.
"In the corridor, I have received two threats. One, that if
Venezuela do not adopt the text, they will not give us the
second commitment period," she said, referring to an extention
of the Kyoto Protocol, the only global pact enforcing carbon
"The most pathetic and the most lowest threat... we are not
going to have the Green Climate Fund," which is designed to help
poor nations tackle global warming and nudge them towards a new
global effort to fight climate change.
She did not say who had made the threat and delegates heard
her allegation in silence.
Among the sticking points holding up a deal were an
extension of the Kyoto Protocol. The draft text says the second
Kyoto phase should end in 2017, but that clashes with the EU's
own binding goal to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
U.S. VS CHINA AND INDIA
But behind the back and forth over language and technical
details, the talks have boiled down to a tussle between the
United States, which wants all polluters to be held to the same
legal standard on emissions cuts, and China and India who want
to ensure their fast growing economies are not shackled.
The fractious late night exchanges punctured the earlier
mood of cautious optimism which had suggested agreement on the
four separate accord in the package was possible.
Should the talks collapse on Sunday, that would represent a
major setback for host South Africa and raise the prospect that
the Kyoto Protocol could expire at the end of 2012 with no
successor treaty in place.
Scientists warn that time is running out to close the gap
between current pledges on cutting greenhouse gases and avoiding
a catastrophic rise in average global temperatures.
U.N. reports released in the last month warned delays on a
global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions will make it
harder to keep the average temperature rise to within 2 Celsius
over the next century.
A warming planet has already intensified droughts and
floods, increased crop failures and sea levels could rise to
levels that would submerge several small island nations, who are
holding out for more ambitious targets in emissions cuts.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney, Barbara Lewis, Agnieszka Flak,
Andrew Allan, Michael Szabo and Stian Reklev; editing by Jon