China yesterday called for joint global efforts to combat
climate change under the principle of "common but differentiated
Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and
Reform Commission, made the appeal at a high-level segment of the
United Nations Climate Change Conference.
"Developing countries are innocent in terms of their
responsibilities to the cause of climate change, but they are most
vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change," he said.
"They need to strike a balance between economic development and
efforts on climate change," he told China Daily.
But Xie noted that China will not continue the development mode
that sets no restriction on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as was
previously the case with industrial countries.
"Common but differentiated responsibilities" means nations have
common responsibilities to protect the environment and promote
sustainable development, but due to different social, economic,
historic and ecological situations, countries must shoulder
The two-week conference, which wraps up tomorrow, brings
together delegates from nearly 190 nations tasked with launching
negotiations leading to an international accord to succeed the
Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
Xie noted that during the ongoing conference, some negotiators
are trying to change the principle of "common but differentiated
responsibilities" decided upon at the Montreal conference in
"This means they are requiring the United States, China and
India to receive a binding target. But for China, it is impossible
because different countries should have various responsibilities
based on their history, development and GHG emission per
Greenhouse gas emission
(China Daily December 13, 2007)