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8 Nov, 2013

China urges developed countries to meet climate financing commitments


Beijing, (Xinhua) November 05, 2013 – A senior Chinese official on Tuesday urged developed countries to keep their commitments on climate financing and outline concrete actions ahead of a number of key meetings on climate change.

Developed nations should promise to inject funds of no less than the fast-start funding between 2013 and 2015, said Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference.

They should also chart a clear course for meeting the funding pledge of 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, invest in the Green Climate Fund as soon as possible and ensure that developing countries get concrete funding support, he said.

His remarks came on the eve of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which will be held on Nov. 11 in the Polish capital of Warsaw.

“The funding issue is the biggest concern for developing countries. It is pivotal for developing countries to implement their proposed targets for emission-cutting action and for multilateral technological transfer,” he said.

At the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, developed nations promised to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars per year by 2020 in order to address climate change.

Xie, also China’s top climate change official, said the upcoming Warsaw Climate Change Conference should be an implementation and launch meeting.

Apart from the funding issue, he said the Warsaw Conference should be an opportunity for all parties in the second commitment period of the protocol to ratify the Amendment to the second commitment of the protocol as soon as possible, and to set a higher emission-cutting target in line with the agreement reached at the Doha Conference.

According to the principle of comparability, developed countries who have not signed up to the second commitment period of the protocol, or who have withdrawn from or have not ratified the protocol should also raise their levels of emission cuts before 2020, Xie noted.

Developed countries should meet their emission cut, funding and technology transfer pledges from previous conferences and scale up efforts with action before 2020, he said.

“This is the foundation for maintaining mutual trust among all parties and also the precondition and guarantee for progress made at the Durban Conference negotiations,” he said.

Xie vowed that China will continue playing an active and constructive role at the Warsaw conference, and work with all parties to ensure a successful conference on the basis of openness and transparency, extensive participation, signatory leadership and consensus through consultation.

Also at the press conference on Tuesday, the Chinese government issued a white paper on its policies and measures for addressing climate change. It also listed China’s achievements on climate change since 2012.

The white paper, titled “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2013),” was released by the State Council Information Office.

“China is faced with a new situation regarding the climate change issue,” the white paper said.

The international community’s scientific understanding of climate change has deepened. International climate change negotiations have entered a new stage, after a package deal was reached at the end of 2012 at the Doha Climate Change Conference, it said.

From a domestic perspective, Chinese people’s awareness of low-carbon development has increased. In 2012, CO2 emissions per unit of GDP fell 5.02 percent compared to 2011. By the end of 2012, the output of China’s energy saving and environmental protection industry exceeded 2.7 trillion yuan (440 billion U.S. dollars).

However, China is still in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and its economy is growing rapidly, so the country’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions are large and will continue to grow. “Great efforts are needed to control greenhouse gas emissions,” it said.

During the coming period, China will put more emphasis on the quality and performance of economic growth, promote ecological progress and make greater efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions, as well as make positive contributions to the global climate change issue, according to the annual report.