Climate change has become a worldwide "security" and foreign relations issue, former UN under-secretary-general Maurice Strong said in Beijing on Wednesday.
China has its responsibility of tackling global warming, but the real solution lies in cooperation at the highest international level, in which the developed countries should take the lead, he said. Instead, the developed countries are shying away from their responsibility.
"What I see today is a tendency among some industrialized countries, notably the US, to shift the onus on China, India and other developing countries to divert attention from their own commitment," he said in his address to the China Foreign Affairs University Forum.
"I predict there's going to be tremendous additional pressure on China, and some of them will be unfair," he said, because the per capita carbon footprint of China is very low.
"No country can do it (solve the problem) alone. China is right to expect that the US, Canada and other countries that created the problem in the first place should take the lead in helping resolve it," Strong said.
The 78-year-old veteran environmental activist appreciated China's policies to fight climate change. Asked how can the Chinese people's environmental protection awareness be raised, he said: "I am delighted (to tell you that) your leaders are already doing this."
(China Daily March 13, 2008)