Climate change talks

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, October 11, 2010
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The just concluded United Nations climate meeting in Tianjin laid some cornerstones for the creation of a global climate fund at the upcoming climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.

Securing climate financing and technology transfer is a must to assist the millions of vulnerable, poverty-stricken people in poor countries. We all witnessed how homes were washed away and millions of people were displaced by the floods in Pakistan in July and August.

Millions more in the developing countries struggle for a decent life. In the words of Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), giving thousands of villages "efficient solar cookers and lights" will provide people with "the opportunity to take control of their future stability, security and sustainability."

It is encouraging to see emerging economies, including China, providing help to poorer countries under the framework of South-South cooperation.

However, there is danger that some rich countries may treat the new climate fund as a bargaining chip. A number of developed countries led by the United States have set preconditions that require developing countries to have their emission reduction projects measured, reported and verified according to their prescribed routine.

At the same time, these rich nations have been dragging their feet in coming up with new targets to cut their own emissions. According to researchers, the national pledges made by developed countries under the Copenhagen Accord cannot achieve their share of the 25-40 percent of CO2 emission reductions from the level of 1990 required to slow down global warming.

Some nations even want to free themselves from the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, of which most developed countries, except the US, are signatories.

The much publicized debate between China and the United States is not simple "bickering".

China and all developing countries must hold onto the principles agreed upon by the 194 countries under the UNFCCC and stop rich countries from backtracking on their previous promises.

China must also go all-out to commit itself to tough targets to reduce its emissions, and make the results transparent for the good of China as well as the world.

Above all, developing countries cannot allow the rich countries to limit the space and scope of the developing countries' future economic growth and shirk their historical and present responsibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping mitigate the impact of climate change.

A successful Cancun climate change conference does not allow for compromises in principles.

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