China should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions once developed countries cut their per capita level of emissions to its current levels, the country's top expert on climate change said on Thursday.
Lin Erda, one of China's leading negotiators on climate change, gave his green proposal during an exclusive interview with China Daily before Premier Wen Jiabao leaves for the United Nations High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals, which is scheduled for next Thursday.
"Rich countries must cut emissions first, and help developing countries on technology transfer," said Lin, who insists developed countries should cut emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.
Lin, who also one of the 12 members of the National Expert Committee for Climate Change, said he has submitted his proposal to the government, but it is not clear whether the government will adopt it in future international negotiations.
US-based non-profit group Environmental Defense's chief economist Daniel J. Dudek agreed with Lin's proposal to have developed countries take the lead in emissions reduction. He said the US should take responsibility by reducing carbon dioxide emissions first because it has been the world's largest emitter of CO2 for decades and has more capacity to adopt energy efficiency.
At the Bali conference, the UN also urged the world's richest countries to take the lead in balancing the carbon budget by cutting emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.
"If developed countries can cut its per capita emissions to China's level, it means they have really good technology," Lin said. "Then China would like to take appropriate actions to reduce emissions after they (developed countries) fulfill their obligations for technology transfer."
(China Daily September 19, 2008)