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China's position and comment on COP15
  1. China says communication with other developing countries at Copenhagen summit transparent

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Sunday that China's communication with other developing countries at the Copenhagen climate summit was full, transparent and unimpeded.

The UN Climate Change Conference ended in the Danish capital Saturday with a legally non-binding agreement, the Copenhagen Accord.

Some media alleged that the Accord was not transparent because it was agreed secretly among the BASIC countries and the United States and was submitted to the Conference without consulting other countries, especially small island states and least developed countries.

These were untrue and irresponsible comments made out of ulterior motives, Qin said.

FULL, TRANSPARENT, UNIMPEDED COMMUNICATION

China always participated in the negotiations and consultations with a cooperative, responsible and constructive attitude and stayed in close communication with all other parties, he said.

As a developing country, China firmly upheld the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", steadfastly defended the development rights and interests of the vast number of developing countries and unswervingly safeguarded their unity and coordination, he said.

Based on full consultation with other developing countries and the Group of 77, the BASIC countries, which include China, India, South Africa and Brazil, presented a joint text to the parties concerned at the very beginning of the Conference, Qin noted.

Premier Wen Jiabao met with the leaders of relevant small island states, least developed countries and African countries for a long period of time in Copenhagen to listen to their opinions, he said.

Premier Wen expressed full understanding and firm support to their legitimate requests, and stated that China would, to the best of its ability, continue to support and assist these countries within the framework of South-South cooperation and through bilateral channels, Qin said.

China's position and proposition were widely supported and appreciated by other developing countries, Qin noted.

IMPORTANT, POSITIVE OUTCOMES

When asked to assess Cop 15, Qin said it was an important opportunity for international cooperation to address climate change.

"Thanks to joint efforts of all parties, important and positive outcomes were achieved at the meeting," he said.

First, the framework and principles established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, especially the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", were firmly upheld, he said.

Second, new steps were taken for developed countries' mandatory emissions reduction targets and developing countries' voluntary mitigation actions, Qin said.

Third, broad consensus was reached on such central issues as global long-term goals, financial and technology support and transparency, Qin noted.

Premier Wen's presence at the high-level event "fully demonstrated Chinese government's highly responsible attitude towards the Chinese people, people in the rest of the world and future generations," Qin said.

Premier Wen delivered an important speech at the meeting, in which he comprehensively expounded on Chinese government's position, propositions and measures to tackle climate change.

Premier Wen also engaged, communicated and coordinated with all other parties closely, calling upon them to bear in mind the overall picture, strengthen confidence, respect each other and conduct equal consultation, build consensus according to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", and seek common ground and reserve differences in the spirit of win-win cooperation as so to strive for outcomes of the Conference, Qin said.

With sincerity, resolve and confidence, China exerted its utmost efforts, did all that it could, played a positive and constructive role in promoting progress of the Conference along the right course and made important contributions to enhancing international cooperation on climate change, he said.

NOT AN END, BUT A NEW BEGINNING

"Addressing climate change is a long and arduous endeavor. The Copenhagen Conference is not an end, but rather a new beginning," Qin said.

He urged all parties to continue to demonstrate political sincerity, stick to the principles enshrined in the Convention and the Protocol, follow the Bali Road Map, earnestly deliver on their commitments, honor their due obligations, and make unremitting efforts in this regard.

"Committed to the path of sustainable development, China will work with the rest of the international community and continue to contribute to the historical process of mankind's endeavor against climate change," Qin said.

2. Chinese premier addresses at Copenhagen summit

COPENHAGEN, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The following is the full text of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's address, delivered at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit here on Friday:

Prime Minister Rasmussen, Dear Colleagues,

At this very moment, billions of people across the world are following closely what is happening here in Copenhagen. The will that we express and the commitments that we make here should help push forward mankind's historical process of combating climate change. Standing at this podium, I am deeply aware of the heavy responsibility.

Climate change is a major global challenge. It is the common mission of the entire mankind to curb global warming and save our planet. It is incumbent upon all of us, each and every country, nation, enterprise and individual to act, and act now in response to this challenge.

The past 30 years have seen remarkable progress in China's modernization drive. Let me share with you here that China has taken climate change very seriously in the course of its development. Bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and mankind's long-term development, we have exerted unremitting effort and made positive contribution to the fight against climate change.

China was the first developing country to adopt and implement a National Climate Change Program. We have formulated or revised the Energy Conservation Law, Renewable Energy Law, Circular Economy Promotion Law, Clean Production Promotion Law, Forest Law, Grassland Law and Regulations on Civil Building Efficiency. Laws and regulations have been an important means for us to address climate change.

China has made the most intensive efforts in energy conservation and pollution reduction in recent years. We have improved the taxation system and advanced the pricing reform of resource products with a view to putting in place at an early date a pricing mechanism that is responsive to market supply and demand, resource scarcity level and the cost of environmental damage. We have introduced 10 major energy conservation projects and launched an energy conservation campaign involving 1,000 enterprises, bringing energy-saving action to industry, transportation, construction and other key sectors. We have implemented pilot projects on circular economy, promoted energy-saving and environment-friendly vehicles and supported the use of energy-saving products by ordinary households with government subsidies. We have worked hard to phase out backward production facilities that are energy intensive and heavily polluting. The inefficient production capacity that China eliminated between 2006and 2008 stood at 60.59 million tons for iron, 43.47 million tons of steel, 140 million tons for cement and 64.45 million tons for coke. By the end of the first half of this year, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP had dropped by 13 percent from the 2005 level, equivalent to reducing 800 million tons of carbon dioxide.

-- China has enjoyed the fastest growth of new energy and renewable energy. On the basis of protecting the eco-environment, we have developed hydro power in an orderly way, actively developed nuclear power, and encouraged and supported the development of renewable energy including biomass, solar and geothermal energy and wind power in the countryside, remote areas and other places with the proper conditions. Between 2005 and 2008,renewable energy increased by 51 percent, representing an annual growth rate of 14.7 percent. In 2008, the use of renewable energy reached an equivalent of 250 million tons of standard coal. A total of 30.5 million rural households gained access to bio-gas, equivalent to a reduction of 49 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. China ranked first in the world in terms of installed hydro power capacity, nuclear power capacity under construction, the coverage of solar water heating panels and photovoltaic power capacity.

-- China has the largest area of man-made forests in the world. We have continued with the large-scale endeavor to return to farmland to forest and expand a forestation, and made vigorous effort to increase forest carbon sink. Between 2003 and 2008, China's forest coverage registered a net increase of 20.54 million hectares and forest stock volume rose by 1.123 billion cubic meters. The total area of man-made forests in China has reached 45million hectares, the largest in the world.

China has a 1.3 billion population and its per capita GDP has only exceeded 3,000 U.S. dollars. According to the U.N. standards, we still have 150 million people living below the poverty line and we therefore face the arduous task of developing the economy and improving people's livelihood. China is now at an important stage of accelerated industrialization and urbanization, and, given the predominant role of coal in our energy mix, we are confronted with special difficulty in emission reduction. However, we have always regarded addressing climate change as an important strategic task. Between 1990 and 2005, China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP were reduced by 46 percent. Building on that, we have set the new target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions on such a large scale and over such an extended period of time will require tremendous efforts on our part. Our target will be incorporated into China's mid-and-long term plan for national economic and social development as a mandatory one to ensure that its implementation is subject to the supervision by the law and public opinions. We will further enhance the domestic-statistical, monitoring and evaluation methods, improve the way for releasing emission reduction information, increase transparency and actively engage in international exchange, dialogue and cooperation.

Dear Colleagues,

To meet the climate challenge, the international community must strengthen confidence, build consensus, make vigorous effort and enhance cooperation. And we must always adhere to the following three principles:

First, maintaining the consistency of outcomes:

The campaign against climate change has not just started. In fact, the international community has been engaged in this endeavor for decades. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol are the outcomes of long and hard work by all countries. They reflect the broad consensus among all parties and serve as the legal basis and guide for international cooperation on climate change. And as such, they must be highly valued and further strengthened and developed. The outcome of this conference must stick to rather than obscure the basic principles enshrined in the Convention and the Protocol. It must follow rather than deviate from the mandate of the "Bali Roadmap". It should lock up rather than deny the consensus and progress already achieved in the negotiations.

Second, upholding the fairness of rules:

The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities "represents the core and bedrock of international cooperation on climate change and it must never be compromised. Developed countries account for 80 percent of the total global carbon dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago. If we all agree that carbon dioxide emissions are the direct cause for climate change, then it is all too clear who should take the primary responsibility. Developing countries only started industrialization a few decades ago and many of their people still live in abject poverty today. It is totally unjustified to ask them to undertake emission reduction targets beyond their due obligations and capabilities in disregard of historical responsibilities, per capita emissions and different levels of development. Developed countries, which are already leading an affluent life, still maintain a level of per capita emissions that is far higher than that of developing countries, and most of their emissions are attributed to consumption. In comparison, emissions from developing countries are primarily survival emissions and international transfer emissions. Today, 2.4 billion people in the world still rely on coal, charcoal, and stalks as main fuels, and 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity. Action on climate change must be taken within the framework of sustainable development and should by no means compromise the efforts of developing countries to get rid of poverty and backwardness. Developed countries must take the lead in making deep quantified emission cuts and provide financial and technological support to developing countries. This is an unshirkable moral responsibility as well as a legal obligation that they must fulfill. Developing countries should, with the financial and technological support of developed countries, do what they can to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in the light of their national conditions.

And third, paying attention to the practicality of the targets:

There is a Chinese proverb which goes, "A one-thousand-mile journey starts with the first step." Similarly, there is a saying in the West which reads, "Rome was not built in one day." In tackling climate change, we need to take a long-term perspective, but more importantly, we should focus on the present. The Kyoto Protocol has clearly set out the emission reduction targets for developed countries in the first commitment period by 2012. However, a review of implementation shows that the emissions from many developed countries have increased rather than decreased. And the mid-term reduction targets recently announced by developed countries fall considerably short of the requirements of the Convention and the expectations of the international community. Itis necessary to set a direction for our long-term efforts, but it is even more important to focus on achieving near-term and mid-term reduction targets, honoring the commitments already made and taking real action. One action is more useful than a dozen programs. We should give people hope by taking credible actions.

Fourth, ensure the effectiveness of institutions and mechanisms:

Concrete actions and institutional guarantee are essential to our effort on tackling climate change. The international community should make concrete and effective institutional arrangements under the Convention and urge developed countries to honor their commitments, provide sustained and sufficient financial support to developing countries, speed up the transfer of climate-friendly technologies and effectively help developing countries, especially small island states, least developed countries, landlocked countries and African countries, strengthen their capacity in combating climate change.

I wish to conclude by underlining that it is with a sense of responsibility to the Chinese people and the whole mankind that the Chinese government has set the target for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This is a voluntary action China has taken in the light of its national circumstances. We have not attached any condition to the target, nor have we linked it to the target of any other country. We will honor our word with real action. Whatever outcome this conference may produce, we will be fully committed to achieving and even exceeding the target.

Thank you.

 

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