Developed countries urged to take serious actions

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Developed countries should shoulder their historical responsibilities by seriously implementing the commitments and legal documents that they have already been agreed to, Xie Zhenhua, head of Chinese delegation to UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, said Wednesday.

Xie Zhenhua, head of Chinese delegation to UN climate conference in Durban []

Xie Zhenhua, head of Chinese delegation to UN climate conference in Durban []

Speaking at the conference's high level segment, Xie said that the most important tasks of COP17 should include fulfills the Bali Road Map negotiations, setting wealthy nations' emission-cut pledges in the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and none- Kyoto developed countries' comparable emission targets, as well as launching the Green Climate Fund.

"Action is the best language," Xie told delegates, noting that developing countries, with heavy burden of development and poverty- reduction, have done their best to tackle climate change.

"The developed countries should confront their historical responsibilities and high level per-capita emissions, take the lead in large-scale emission reduction, and provide developing countries with financial and technical supports," Xie said.

Xie noted that leaders from all countries clearly pronounced their willingness to tackle climate change, set goals of lowering emissions at Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009, and consensus on finance, adaptation, technology transfer and transparency were reached at Cancun Climate Conference in 2010.

"The international community is waiting for these promises and consensus to be implemented earnestly and vigorously, to be refined into fair, valid, and operational mechanism," Xie said.

"The road for a better future is under our feet," Xie said, while promising that China will play an constructive role in supporting the South African host to push Durban conference for comprehensive and balanced outcomes.

Earlier Wednesday, Xie told a side-event forum of the conference that China will further help other developing countries tackle climate change, by now mainly focusing in capacity building, technology of adaptation, energy- and water-saving products.

He underlined that global cooperation is essential to tackle climate change. "Developed countries, international institutions such as United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank can strongly support developing countries' plan, design and implementation of actions ," he said.

"While actively taking domestic measures of mitigation and adaptation, China expects to cooperate with other countries and major international institutions."

Xie also disclosed China's ambitious goal of cutting emission intensity, greenhouse gas emissions per unit GDP, by 17 percent during its 12th 5-year plan (2011-2015). In 2009, China pledged a 40-45 percent emission cut target from 2005 levels by 2020.

An action plan of China's State Council shows that China will allocate emission targets to each province, and link the accomplishments with provincial officials' appraisal system.

The action plan, distributed to Xinhua but not yet officially announced, says China will launch pilot projects of carbon emission trade system, to some extent similar to European Union's ETS system, based on voluntary emission offset.

The plan also lays out plans to establish statistical and verification systems for emissions at national, provincial levels and for each enterprise.

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