China's stance in Doha climate talks constructive

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Top UN climate official Christiana Figueres described China's position in the ongoing Doha climate talks as "very constructive" in a recent interview with Xinhua, hailing China's initiatives in addressing climate change and reducing emissions.

Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said on the sidelines of the climate talks that China "has already taken a lead" in tackling climate change as a responsible developing country.

"China is doing a good job," she said, adding that she expects "China to continue doing the work they are already doing." The UN official said China is well aware of the fact that climate change has many negative impacts on both its people and its economy.

"By their own admission," extreme weather events have affected 340 million citizens in China and caused 50 billion U.S. dollars of loss, Figueres said.

Erratic weather events have increased in frequency and intensity in China in recent years. Heat waves in the north and frost in the far south, which used to be usual, are becoming ever more commonplace in China, while summer torrential rains in the capital Beijing incurred casualties, property damages as well as widespread traffic congestion.

In particular, the country's 674 million rural residents, especially those living in absolute poverty, are susceptible to natural disasters.

To face the challenges, China has incorporated sustainable development into its national strategy.

Shortly before the Doha talks, "ecological civilization" was stipulated as an integral part of China's future development plan.

In 2011, China's legislature set out concrete targets in addressing the climate change in its five-year plan, which emphasized green and low-carbon development.

The Chinese government "has taken in its 12th five-year plan very clear targets of renewable energy and energy efficiency that I have no doubt they are going to meet and exceed," Figueres noted.

Meanwhile, on inter-governmental climate cooperation, Figueres said China is "definitely helping other countries."

"They are investing in technologies that are going to be very important to other countries," she said. "They are definitely moving out, particularly to the African countries to help them with their adaptation and mitigation."

In the framework of BASIC and G77+China, China has put forward many proposals on multiple occasions that were echoed and espoused by many developing countries present at the Doha conference.

At the opening session of the conference, China confirmed on behalf of the BASIC nations (China, Brazil, India and South Africa) the willingness to provide support to and cooperate with other countries so as to ensure an open, transparent and inclusive process of the global anti-warming efforts.

Speaking on the ongoing negotiations, Figueres said the talks are going well but since the negotiators only had a few days of work, their products could not be assessed until the conference reaches its end.

"The road is constructive and everybody is working very hard," she concluded.

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