China will never repeat developed countries' old path of unlimited emissions

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China will stay the course of sustainable, low-carbon and green development and will never repeat developed countries' old path of high energy consumption and unlimited emissions, China's climate chief negotiator said Wednesday.

China still has a large population living in poverty and it is confronted with a lot of challenges, such as the reduction of poverty, improving living standards and responding to climate change, Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation, said at an open plenary during the UN Climate Conference.

"However, such challenges also provide opportunities for countries like China to transform the pattern of its economic growth," he said.

The Chinese government last year announced its mitigation actions, aiming at reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

"Achieving these targets will require tremendous long-term efforts," Xie said. "China will adopt comprehensive policies to slow down the speed of emission growth, and strive to reach emission peak as soon as possible."

He also put forward several suggestions for the conference: maintaining the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol the basis for negotiations; continuing to work toward the objective of achieving common development; continuing to strength cooperation as a means to address climate change.

He also called on Annex I Parties (the industrialized countries plus those countries with economies in transition) to the Kyoto Protocol to make efforts to accomplish emissions reduction targets identified in the first commitment period and make further commitment on the substantial emissions reduction targets in the second commitment period.

Non-Annex I (whose members are mostly developing countries) developed countries should make comparable promise under the UNFCCC and developing countries should also take voluntary adaptation and mitigation actions within their capacity, he said.

The UN Climate Change Conference, running from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, aims at finding solutions to global climate change.

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