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UNDP urges developed nations to cut emissions
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A regional bureau chief of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Friday urged rich nations to take the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, describing a long-term goal as "insufficient".

The G8 leaders agreed on Wednesday to achieve the goal of reducing global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050, pressing the developing countries to share the burden.

"That goal is good... but I think it is not very concrete, because it's quite far away from 2050. In addition to that goal, we need more specific targets," said Ajay Chhibber, director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of UNDP.

Chhibber is in China for talks with officials on dealing with "financial crisis and on how china is addressing some long-term challenges". It's Chhibber's first visit since he took office as UNDP regional head.

"The problem of emissions largely and clearly is created by the developed countries, they must have the first responsibility to address this issue," said Chhibber.

"For the developing countries who are growing very rapidly, they need a solution which will allow them to develop and, at the same time, contribute to addressing the climate change problem," Chhibber said.

Despite 50 percent emissions cut by 2050, G8 nations failed to specify the benchmark year for the cut. The emerging economies would also like to see rich nations make deeper cuts in the medium term, namely by 2020, rather than a distant target by 2050.

Developing countries also want developed nations to provide financing and technology transfer to help the poor in the fight against climate change before they can accept any big cuts.

The world's governments will meet in Copenhagen of Denmark to reach a new deal for medium-term emission cut targets as the current Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

"The 'common but differentiated responsibility' established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the right way," said Chhibber.

"The developing countries need to help their people out of poverty to a better standard of living, but at the same time, they won't follow the same path followed by the developed countries in the last 100 years," said Chhibber, suggesting the developed countries provide funding and technology.

"I think China will invest much more in low-carbon technologies. China has recognized the direction," Chhibber said, adding that China has also started to invest in its stimulus package.

China, the first developing country to launch a national plan for coping with climate change, has set the targets of cutting energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by some 20 percent from 2005 to 2010.

Of the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package announced by the government late last year, 580 billion yuan (84.9 billion U.S. dollars) would be used on projects relating to climate change.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2009)

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