Dual-track talks crucial for Cancun conference

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China attached great importance to the climate change issue and the upcoming UN climate change conference (COP 16) in Cancun, for which China believed dual-track negotiations were crucial, a Chinese diplomat said Friday.

In an interview with Xinhua, Huang Huikang, special representative for climate change negotiations of China's Foreign Ministry, said China hoped substantial progress would be made at Cancun on the issues about which developing countries were concerned.

Leaders or their representatives from 180 countries are scheduled to discuss climate change and greenhouse gas emissions on Nov 29-Dec 10 in the Mexican resort city of Cancun.

On Oct 28, Chinese President Hu Jintao, in reply to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, expressed the basic attitude of the Chinese government, saying China welcomed Mexico's hosting of the conference and supported the conference to achieve substantial progress in promoting the "Bali Road Map" dual-track negotiations, Huang said.

Cancun was another important conference for the international community to advance the "Bali Road Map" negotiations after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last year, Huang said.

The Bali agreement, reached in late 2007 in Bali, Indonesia, is aimed at finalizing a legally binding international treaty on tackling climate challenges in the long term.

Huang said, as the Copenhagen conference failed to reach a legally binding treaty for the years beyond 2012, some people said the climate talks were deadlocked and the Cancun conference was facing a grim picture.

However, there were still wide expectations across the international community for a successful Cancun conference, and the symbol for its success should not be the completion of "Bali Road Map" negotiations or a package of final accords, but the substantial progress achieved on advancing of the dual-track negotiations.

The international community generally anticipated that the delegates at the Cancun conference might be able to reach a balanced package of decisions on consensus issues like financial resources, technology, adaptation and forestry, he said.

For other disputed issues, the delegates should continue to take a cooperative attitude to lay a foundation for the completion of the Bali Road Map negotiations at the South Africa conference next year, he said.

Huang also said financial and technological support were two key issues for developing countries.

At the Cancun conference, China hoped developed countries would honor their obligations to provide $30 billion for fast-start finance for 2010-2012 and long-term funding of $100 billion per year by 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord, he said.

Regarding technological support, he said China hoped great progress would be made on the technological transfer issue, like the principle for its arrangement.

The Cancun meeting is the 16th Conference of Parties (CoP16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6).

A nearly 70-strong delegation of the Chinese government, headed by Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, would arrive in Cancun progressively, Huang said.

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