China key to brokering climate deal in Paris: EU Parliament member

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Against the backdrop of the 2015 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris, European Parliament member Jo Leinen said China's participation is crucial in the effort to clinch a global climate deal.

Leinen, chair of the Delegation for Relations with China in the European Parliament, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.

Leinen said he hoped China will stick to its commitments expressed in the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change issued in November 2014, use its influence "to enlarge the number of countries willing to be committed to a sustainable compromise," and "play a role of honest broker between the different 'camps' during the negotiations in Paris."

China and the United States, the world's top two greenhouse gas emitters, made a joint announcement on climate change in November 2014 to curb their carbon emissions, followed by a U.S.-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change that resulted from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Washington in September 2015.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping along with U.S. President Barack Obama have demonstrated their clear position by recalling and reaffirming the November 2014 Joint Announcement and the September 2015 Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change," Leinen said.

Acknowledging China's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, which China submitted to the UN in June, Leinen thought that "in the transformation of the Chinese economy, there are [not only] a lot of chances for a development of new and clean technologies, but also new possibilities for investments."

Leinen, a member of the European Parliament representing Germany, used to serve as the minister for environment in the German state of Saarland and chair of the Committee on Environment of the European Parliament.

He hoped that a climate deal in Paris could help improve China's environment by reducing the CO2 emissions both in industrial facilities and in cities.

An advocate for renewable energy, Leinen called for more electric and hydrogen cars in the transportation sector, more smart green cities to accompany an enhanced urbanization process, and the development of CO2 neutralization technology in energy production.

In this context, Leinen praised the intensive efforts by Germany and the European Union to cooperate with China on planning new cities and refurbishing the ones already built.

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