China will notably cut CO2 emissions by 2020

By Gong Yingchun in Warsaw, Poland
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 21, 2013
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Xie Zhenhua(M), head of the Chinese delegation and vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), speaks during the high-level segment of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference on Nov. 20.

"China will continue to step up its efforts to address climate change in a bid to achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 levels," reiterated Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation and vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) during the high-level segment of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference on Nov. 20.

The high-level segment of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference kicked off on Tuesday. Xie attended the conference on Wednesday and offered four suggestions for the ongoing climate negotiations.

Xie urged all countries to join in sincere cooperation to deal with the ongoing climate change that poses great global threats to sustainable development. He pointed out that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the common commitment adhered to by all parties. Additionally, the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities serve as guidelines for the international community to follow. He called on all parties to turn the outcomes of the documents of past COP/CMP conferences into real actions and make the Warsaw Conference a meeting of "implementation."

Xie noted that funding is key to the success of the conference. "Funding is the prerequisite for developing countries to take actions in mitigation, adaptation, loss and damages, technology development & transfer, capacity building and transparency," he said. Therefore, he urged developed countries to fulfill all their funding commitments and develop a clear roadmap for providing US$100 billion each year by 2020.

The emission reduction targets show the ambition of the different parties involved, Xie continued. He stressed that the Warsaw Conference should urge all, especially those developed countries, to ratify the Amendment to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible. "If developed countries follow the requirement of a scientific report [Emission Gap Report 2013 released by United Nations Environment Program] by increasing their emission reduction targets to 40 percent by 2020, the so-called gap in emission reduction efforts would no longer exist," he said.

Xie also pointed out the achievements that China has made thus far in dealing with air pollution issues and addressing climate change, given that China's energy consumption per unit GDP has decreased by 26.4 percent over the past eight years and over 2.35 billion tons of CO2 have been cut, a 28 percent drop in carbon intensity. The stock volume of forest in China has increased by 1.723 billion cubic meters, exceeding the target of 1.3 billion cubic meters, he said.

Moreover, Xie said China has undertaken a series of new actions to deal with climate change since 2012, such as the launch of China's first National Low Carbon Day and the carbon exchange pilot project. Furthermore, China has carried out South-South cooperation and has continuously provided US$10 million each year to support capacity building in other developing countries since 2011.

On a final note, Xie stated that China is carrying out internal consultation and analysis for the development of further actions. He believed China will make contributions and efforts for addressing climate change around the world after 2020.

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