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Swiss minister optimistic for UN climate summit

Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger remains hopeful about a United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen.

He said many countries, including Switzerland, Japan or the European Union, had committed themselves to tackle climate issues.

"It is a success when all countries agree to cut greenhouse gases, even if they choose different ways to do so," Leuenberger said in radio interviews on Tuesday.

He attended a preparatory meeting in Copenhagen with counterparts from about 40 countries.

The Swiss delegation wants to maintain proposals for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a statement by the environment ministry.

The meeting agreed to insist on deadlines for the implementation of legally binding accords, even if Copenhagen will only achieve a political framework agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol which will is run out in 2012.

In a related development, environmental activists staged a series of protests in the Swiss capital Bern to demand a SFr1.7 billion ($1.69 billion) government contribution to a global climate fund.

Members of Greenpeace climbed government buildings and unrolled banners, before they were detained by police.

swissinfo.ch with agencies


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