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Rich nations urged to show leadership in tackling climate change
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U.N. top climate negotiator Wednesday called on industrialized countries to show leadership on the issue of climate change.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Yve de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said he do believe that if industrialized countries show their leadership and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the developing countries can be helped through international cooperation to grow their economies in a clean way and avoid making the same mistakes that were made in the West.

The U.N. official is here to attend the two-week U.N. climate change conference which kicked off on Monday in Bali, a resort island of Indonesia.

The challenge for most of the developing countries in tackling the climate change is how to achieve a balance in growing economy, while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, he said.

Thanks to a national climate change strategy, he said, China is already showing great effort on the question of climate change.

China has to continue to grow its economy fast, because there are still many poor people in the country's rural area, he said.

As for China's green Olympic efforts, the U.N. official said China's effort to organize the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in a green way will have big impacts throughout the country, saying that if China succeeds in sustainable development plan, that will be a good example for many other countries to follow.

He believed the international cooperation on climate change can help contribute to an sustainable development in China in the future.

He also said high energy costs are concerned in every country in the world. He called for creating a mechanism for international cooperation that leads to investment in clean energy technology in developing countries.

Regarding the UNFCCC's principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", he said "you are increasingly seeing developing countries act on the question of climate change."

China in June announced a "very ambitious" national climate change strategy, he said, adding that Mexico has announced plans to bring sectors part of its economy under a goal and India is working on a national climate change strategy that will be announced soon.

Brazil and South African are going to take action implementing what they called sustainable development policies and measures, he added.

The impacts of the climate change being felt around the world are creating the awareness that this is a common problem that has to be addressed through common approach, he said.

The climate change is such a "big and complicated" issue, he said. The problem can only be solved by working together.

The Bonn-based UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro on June 4, 1992. The treaty is aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gas in order to combat global warming.

Since the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) met for the first time in Berlin, Germany, the parties have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

The 2007 U.N. climate change conference in Bali, which brings together representatives of over 180 countries, together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media, is tasked with launching negotiations on a new climate change regime after 2012 when the current phase of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expires. The meeting will conclude on Dec. 14.

(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2007)

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