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Seminar urges developed world to help fight climate change
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Developed countries should shoulder some responsibility for huge greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson told an international gathering of socialists in Beijing on Friday.

Persson said developed nations with "advanced economies exported production of some energy-wasting goods to those economies" in the developing world.

Persson was speaking at a seminar organized by the world's most populous political party and the world's biggest party organization on how to work together to address global environmental concerns.

The Communist Party of China (CPC), with more than 70 million members, and the Socialist International (SI), which brings together 170 political parties and organizations worldwide, devoted the one-day talks to global warming, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Our high-level talks on sustainable development today epitomizes the stronger exchanges and cooperation since the CPC and the SI started the strategic dialogue in 2004," Wang Jiarui, head of the CPC Central Committee International Department, said in the opening address.

"China's pursuit of sustainable development was not a "forced choice," but a voluntary move out of responsibility for the Chinese nation and humanity," he said.

He called for international efforts to tackle climate change and seek sustainable growth.

"As a country of 1.3 billion population, China should improve its capability to deal with the climate change, seek sustainable development, and fulfill international responsibilities," Wang said.

The Socialist International is trying to shape a new path of development, SI President George Papandreou said in an interview with Xinhua,"we want to make sure that we have a development path that will guarantee the employment, the social cohesion, also competitiveness of our economies and protection of environment and dealing with climate change. "

"This is something that we cannot do alone," Papandreou said, hailing that China is one of the most dynamic economies in the world and plays a very important role.

He said the SI can create partnerships and alliances, which could be conducive to create consensus and platform that will guarantee the values and goals.

Participants included UN Climate Change Special Envoy Ricardo Lagos and Xie Zhenhua, China's chief delegate to international climate change conferences.

"To ensure the success of the upcoming UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, developed countries should cut greenhouse emissions by large amounts," Xie told delegates.

The first round of climate change negotiations took place in Bonn, Germany, in April. There will be four more UN sessions before the Copenhagen conference in December, which will attempt to formulate a post-Kyoto deal on climate change.

The Copenhagen meeting will be very "important", and "we have a very short window of opportunity," said Papandreou.

He also pointed out that the developed world have realized to be prosperous, but at the same time they've also used the energy "in a way that created huge greenhouse gas emissions".

Papandreou said there is an injustice that now developed countries are saying everyone must change the path of growth.

"The burden can not be equally put on the poor and the developed. Bigger responsibilities are on the developed countries," he said.

He urged that developed countries "must take on the responsibility to transfer technology, invest and support economically the poor countries to be able to make these changes, to be able to modernize their economies."

"Otherwise poor countries will not have resources and possibilities of making this change, they will have to resort to the traditional energy and technologies which will pollute more," he said.

Papandreou said the modernization of all economies must be made onto a different path with new technologies in transportation, construction, energy and preserving natural environment, lakes, rivers and seas.

In this regard, Xie said developed nations should also take active steps to provide funds, technology and support to help developing nations, especially the least developed and island countries, to deal with climate change.

He said the key for the success of the Copenhagen meeting, which was scheduled at the end of this year, is that countries should negotiate in line with provisions of the Bali Roadmap, maintain the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" among developed and developing countries, implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in a comprehensive, efficient and consistent way, and put mitigation and adaptation of climate change, solving problems on technology and funds in priorities.

However, expectation put on China by the international community should be "fair and reasonable," said Xie, noting that China's current average per capita greenhouse gas emission volume is only a third of that of the developed countries.

China will try to reduce emissions while making efforts to eliminate poverty and improve its citizens' livelihood, and not to follow the developed countries' traditional development model based on high-emission and high-pollution, Xie stressed.

Combating the climate change cannot be slowed by the global financial crisis, he said.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which came into effect in 1994, provides specific rules about what the developed nations should do in helping developing countries cope.

However, little action has been taken by developed nations to implement the treaty in 15 years, he said.

SI President George Papandreou lauded China's decision and efforts to take the path of sustainable development.

"China could become a bridge between the developing and developed world," he said.

"Yesterday I went to Tsinghua University and a cement factory, which showed us the important work you are doing and political willpower you are showing," Papandreou said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2009)

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