Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Friday that climate change is ultimately an issue of development and can only be resolved through development.
"Climate change is an environmental issue, but ultimately, it is an issue of development," Yang said in a speech delivered at the general debate of the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. "It has arisen in the course of development and can only be resolved through development."
He said development in the world has brought advanced material progress and caused ecological imbalance and environmental pollution at the time.
"To protect our common homeland is a matter of vital importance for our common future," Yang said.
He stressed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol must be upheld and that the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" must be adhered to.
Yang urged both the developed and developing countries to do their part in tackling climate change.
"Developed countries should face up to their responsibility, fulfill their commitment on emission reduction in real earnest and continue to take the lead in emission reduction after 2012," Yang said.
He said China takes climate change seriously and has set a target of cutting energy intensity by about 20 percent and total discharge of major pollutants by 10 percent, and increasing forest coverage to 20 percent for the period between the end of 2005 and 2010.
Yang said China will follow its National Program on Addressing Climate Change and take an active part in international cooperation in climate change and contribute its share to protecting global climate.
(Xinhua News agency September 29, 2007)