China plays key role in ensuring success of Copenhagen talks

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Undeniable facts showed China, by demonstrating sincerity, confidence and determination, has exerted maximum efforts to move forward the Copenhagen climate change negotiations with an eye on striking a widely accepted accord.


Before arriving in Copenhagen on Dec. 16, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had held telephone talks on climate change issues with leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, Ethiopia, Denmark, Germany, Britain and the UN secretary-general.

During the Copenhagen conference, Wen carried out shuttle diplomacy and requested host country Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and UN chief Ban Ki-moon to uphold fairness. For several times Wen attended the gatherings of leaders of the BASIC countries, which include China, India, South Africa and Brazil.

He also met U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on climate change, and expressed his understanding of the particular concerns of small island countries, and the under-developed and African countries on the climate issue.

China, at the conference, also made some concessions to show its sincerity and the spirit of cooperation. For example, China backed off and conceded the target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times be written into the Copenhagen Accord.

Moreover, China has not only helped developing countries gain as much fund as possible from developed countries to fight climate change, but provided aid within its capacity to developing countries.


China's confidence was highlighted in its adherence to its substantial principles on climate change.

First, China stuck to the dual-track mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."

Second, China turned down some developed countries' demands to link China's voluntary mitigation actions with developed countries' compulsory emissions reduction targets. Premier Wen said the Chinese commitments are "nonnegotiable and unconditional."

Third, China refused to set a fixed year for peak emissions, as it would more or less hinder the development of developing countries, which are still faced with the priority tasks of economic development and poverty reduction. China believed it was unhelpful to prescribe such a year, as different countries had different characteristics and were at different development stages, and developing countries may face more uncertainties in their future development.


China has voluntarily carried out a variety of mitigation actions, although there are no compulsory emissions cut demands for developing countries according to international accords.

China was the first developing country to adopt and implement the National Climate Change Program.

The inefficient production capacity that China eliminated stood at 60.59 million tons of iron, 43.47 million tons of steel, 140 million tons of cement and 64.45 million tons of coke.

By the end of the first half of this year, China's energy consumption per unit of the GDP had dropped 13 percent from the 2005 level, equivalent to reducing 800 million tons of carbon dioxide.

China has set the new target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions per unit of the GDP by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.

During his address to the Copenhagen meeting, Premier Wen said, "We will honor our word with real action. Whatever outcome this conference may produce, we will be fully committed to achieving and even exceeding the target."

These actions and commitments fully display China's determination to combat climate change.

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