The head of the U.N.'s climate body on Thursday urged major developing countries such as China, India and Brazil to play more active role in combating global warming.
Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Secretariat, said efforts to combat global warming could fail unless a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change involving both advanced and major developing countries was reached this year.
"The year 2012 is drawing very close. It takes a very long time to reach an agreement on such complicated global negotiations," de Boer told reporters.
He was speaking after senior officials from 20 countries wrapped up an "informal" two-day conference on climate change in Tokyo.
The Tokyo conference, the fifth of its kind, was aimed at helping pave the way for the international community to set rules on combating climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
"I fear if we don't manage to resolve the future negotiations this year, we may well run the risk of not having policies in place by the year 2012," de Boer said.
He repeatedly said that more active participation by major developing countries such as China, India and Brazil was "crucial" to bring global efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
But he said that those countries had shown "clear indications" that they would be committed to taking further action on climate change.
"But for this they need international help," he said.
The Kyoto Protocol obliges 35 developed nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
But the nations signed up to the protocol account for only about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.