China calls for beefed-up efforts for new climate deal

By He Shan in Lima, Peru
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 5, 2014
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China's chief climate negotiator Su Wei holds a press briefing on the sidelines of the Lima Climate Change Conference on December 4. [He Shan /]

During a press briefing on the sidelines of the Lima Climate Change Conference, China's top climate negotiator Su Wei said there is much work to be done before the world can seal a climate deal in Paris next year.

Under the Copenhagen climate Accord, rich countries have pledged to provide US$100 billion a year in financing by 2020 to support climate change action in developing countries.

Su pointed that there hasn't been "any clear roadmap or clear picture of meeting that target," and the US$9.7 billion that has so far been donated to the Green Climate Fund is "far from adequate."

Su urged all wealthy nations to honor their capital commitments and ramp up their planned cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Commenting on the new deal to be reached in Paris next year, Su said, "It should put adaptation to climate change on the same footing as mitigation."

His statements illustrate the dispute dividing developing countries from developed countries, who have attached more importance to mitigation than adaptation because adaptation involves cash commitments by developed countries.

"In China, we are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change," said Su. "The impact of climate change is not in the future; it is happening now, and developing countries are exposed to the dangers and the threats."

Commenting on Australia's refusal to donate to the GCF, Su said, "It is not good news, if it is true that they refuse to provide any money to the GCF."

The United States and Japan pledged to inject US$3 billion and US$1.5 billion, respectively, to the GCF last month, a positive move that will facilitate climate change negotiations.

Last month, China and the United States jointly announced their new targets for emissions cuts. China announced a goal to reach peak emissions around 2030, the first time that the country has set a cap year. The United States announced that it plans to cut emissions by 26 to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025.

"The joint announcement was intended to give momentum to the talks," said Su. "A joint announcement does not necessarily blur the distinction between developed and developing countries."

He added that the goals reflected the two countries' different circumstances.

Regarding the net zero emissions target by 2050, Su explained, "I don't know whether it is practically feasible, but certainly we need some ambitious objectives in order to drive the economy in a way that we can embark on a low carbon development path."

He said, "Certainly, we hope the world will speed up the low carbon efforts to have less reliance on fossil fuels."

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