Greater cooperation between industrialized and developing countries in the fight against climate change is the key to making the Copenhagen summit next month a success, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"If world leaders will not strike a deal (at the summit) it will be a catastrophe," he warned.
Frattini said he was not optimistic about the summit's prospect in forging a post-Kyoto agreement but was satisfied by the U.S. government's commitment and China's new approaches to fighting climate change.
He said Italy's goals in tackling global warming were in line with the EU's objective of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30 percent of 1990 levels by 2020, adding that Italy aimed for a reduction of 80 percent by 2050.
Italy's position and role at the summit will therefore be the same as the other member countries of the EU, he said.
"We will urge strong cooperation among all international partners, including the United States, China and India, and sponsor a balanced approach to the fight against climate change based on the need to balance economic growth and environmental protection," Frattini said.
He said Italy had done a lot in combating global warming by increasing the use of clean energy and diversifying energy sources.
Investment in green technology is a great opportunity for both rich and developing countries, he said.
"Italy is committed to helping poorer neighbors increase their climate protection approaches by having our industries invest there," he said, referring to the Italian firms operating in the Mediterranean and Balkan nations with green technology projects in the fields of nuclear energy and hydropower.
Italian green firms are also cooperating with Chinese firms in promoting the development of solar energy in China, Frattini said.
"We cannot leave China alone in making the change and filling the gap," the minister said, adding that rich countries must help China and other developing countries to develop green technology.
Frattini also noted the fact that the gap in environment protection could not be solved overnight because "developing countries' starting point is different from that of European nations."
He said China had found the right balance between mitigating climate change impact and supporting economic development.
While recalling many steps recently taken by the Chinese government to tackle climate change, Frattini expressed his appreciation of China's strategy to ask developed countries to do more in helping developing countries fight global warming.