Xi sends strong signals at Paris climate talks

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent strong signals at the ongoing Paris climate change conference, warning against mentality of zero-sum game, expressing resolve in fulfilling Beijing's commitments and showing willingness to advance international cooperation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Xi made the remarks in a speech at the opening ceremony of the two-week Paris gathering, officially called the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The highly-anticipated meeting, opened by leaders from over 150 countries, aims to produce a new international agreement to cut greenhouse gases beyond 2020 when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expires.

Such an accord is seen as crucial for keeping the rise in global temperatures within two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, a goal scientists say should be met to avoid risky changes in the climate.


The Paris climate talks should reject the narrow-minded mentality of zero-sum game, said Xi, urging all countries, particularly developed countries, to assume more shared responsibilities for win-win results.

Developing nations insist their developed counterparts with completed process of industrialization shoulder the greater burden for carbon emission reductions.

In his speech, Xi reiterated the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," a cornerstone laid by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, adding that it must be adhered to during the upcoming climate negotiations.

Xi suggested the Paris conference accommodate the national conditions of various countries and lay emphasis on practical results.

It is imperative to respect differences among countries, especially developing ones, in domestic policies, capacity building and economic structure, the Chinese leader said, noting the legitimate needs of developing countries to reduce poverty and improve their peoples' living standards should not be denied when the issue of climate change is being addressed.

Along with leaders of other developing nations, Xi also called upon developed countries to honor their commitment to climate finance and transfer of low-carbon and eco-friendly technologies to developing countries.

In the 2009 Copenhagen conference, it was agreed that poorer nations vulnerable to global warming impacts would receive 100 billion U.S. dollars per year by 2020 to give up fossil fuels and shore up defenses against climate-driven food scarcity, heat waves and storm damage.

"Developed countries should honor their commitment, mobilizing 100 billion U.S. dollars each year before 2020, and provide stronger financial support to developing countries afterwards," said Xi.

"It is also important that climate-friendly technologies should be transferred to developing countries," he added.

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