China urged a conclusion of talks yesterday on further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized countries, which according to the Kyoto Protocol, are obliged to cut their emissions by 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012 from their 1990 levels.
Jiang Weixin, head of the Chinese delegation to the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, said "we appeal to the Annex I Parties to propose as soon as possible their specific emission reduction targets for the second commitment period and to start substantial negotiations quickly with a view to concluding negotiations before 2008 or no later than 2009 at the latest."
He stated that a major task facing parties during the ongoing climate change negotiation process was to accelerate negotiations of the ad hoc Working Group established under Article 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol.
However, the conference has failed to see a breakthrough in the post-Kyoto negotiations, which aim to establish a further emission reduction framework following the Kyoto Protocol's expiry in 2012.
NGOs are pushing the EU to play a leading role in combating climate change instead of taking a hesitant approach.
"We remind the EU of its self-proclaimed leadership, which it is not living up to, unfortunately," said Stephan Singer, World Wildlife Fund's policy officer for Europe.
Analysts say that EU, having promised an 8 percent emissions cut between 2008 and 2012, is watching the US, which pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol when President George W. Bush came into power in 2001.
However, UN top climate chief Yvo de Boer said he held no expectations that the US would ratify the Kyoto Protocol despite the Republicans' defeat in the mid-term elections.
Developing countries have held that they and industrialized countries had common but differentiated responsibilities in combating climate change. The view holds that developing countries are even more vulnerable to climate change, and thus demand industrialized countries provide developing countries with technology and funding that will help them shore up their anti-emissions capacity.
"We appeal to developed parties to fulfill their commitments on providing financial and technological support to developing parties to enhance the developing parties' capacity in responding to climate change in accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)," said senior Chinese climate official Gao Guangsheng.
"China is willing to make new contributions to the protection of the global climate system while achieving economic development," he added.
The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty published at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty aims to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat global warming.
The treaty includes provisions for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol, now far better known than the UNFCCC itself.
(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2006)