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Chinese Ambassador Xie Hangsheng Gave Interview to Ritzau Bureau

On November 17, 2010,H. E. Ambassador Xie Hangsheng had an interview with Ritzau Bureau regarding the issue of climate change. Ambassador Xie's opinion and comments are as follows:


China's stance towards climate change


The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and, out of the sense of responsibility for the long-term welfare of Chinese people and the whole mankind as well, calls for substantial and effective international cooperation in this regard. It believes the core tasks for current international negotiations are to strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap, to ensure full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention and the Protocol, and to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial assistance in a coordinated and holistic manner.

Firstly, the world should stick to the fundamental framework of the Convention and the Protocol, and strictly follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. The Convention and the Protocol lay the legal foundation for international cooperation on climate change, embody the consensus of the international community on the issue and constitute the guidebook for the implementation of the Bali Roadmap. The Bali Roadmap gives the authorization to fully, effectively and sustainedly implement the Convention and the Protocol, provides for climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as financial and technical support for the purpose, and determines further quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

Secondly, the world should take responsibility for their historical cumulative emissions and current high per capita emissions to change their unsustainable way of life and to substantially reduce their emissions and, at the same time, provide financial support and transfer technology to developing countries. Developing countries will, in pursuing economic development and poverty eradication, take proactive measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Thirdly, the world should observe the sustainable development principle. Sustainable development is both the means and the end of effectively addressing climate change. Within the overall framework of sustainable development, economic development, poverty eradication and climate protection should be considered in a holistic and integrated manner so as to reach a win-win solution and to ensure that developing countries secure their right to development.

Fourthly, the world should give equal priority to climate change mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technology transfer. Mitigation and adaptation are integral components of combating climate change and should be given equal attention. Compared with mitigation that is an arduous task over a longer time span, the need for adaptation is more real and urgent to developing countries. Financing and technology are indispensable means to achieve mitigation and adaptation. The fulfillment of commitments by developed countries to provide financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries is a condition sine qua non for developing countries to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Chinawill, on the basis of the Convention and the Protocol, at the requirement of the Bali Roadmap and in accordance of domestic conditions, fulfill international obligations proportionate to its development level and actual ability, and execute potent policies, measures and actions, doing its share to protect our planet.

China's expectationsfor the Cancun Conference

An active and constructive participant in international negotiation on climate change, China hopes the Cancun Conference can complete the negotiations envisioned in the Bali Roadmap and yield legally binding results through negotiations of the working groups of the Convention and the Protocol. Its targets are as follows:

First, the Conference will set reduction goals for the developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol through negotiations of AWG-KP. The AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA are the two equally important negotiation tracks under the Bali Roadmap. The first commitment period of the Protocol will expire at the end of 2012. To ensure a seamless transition between the first and second periods, the AWG-KP is pressed to finish its negotiations at the soonest, which is also a precondition for progress at negotiations of the AWG-LCA. Only if the further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are first determined by the AWG-KP, can comparability under the AWG-LCA be established later on. The Cancun Conference is therefore expected to make solid progress in negotiations over reduction targets of the developed nations for the second commitment period under the Protocol, and consolidate consensus reached at the negotiations, thereby laying solid ground for the negotiations to head in the right direction.

Second, the conference should solve the mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technical transfer issues through work of the AWG-LCA. In accordance with the Bali Action Plan, negotiations of the AWG-LCA shall determine the reduction commitments by developed nations that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (primarily the U.S.), and ensure that their projected reductions are comparable to other developed nations in terms of magnitude, nature and compliance mechanism. An effective mechanism should be launched for the developed nations to fulfill their commitment of assisting the developing nations with finance and technology and on capability building, so that the developing nations are able to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In particular, more details should be settled about the $30 billion fund pledged by developed nations at the Copenhagen Conference, including share of contributions, timely and full payment, and measures of management and use of the money. The fund is critical to the establishment of mutual trust between the developed and developing nations. On receiving assistance on finance, technology and capability building from the developed nations, the developing nations will take mitigation measures in accordance with their respective conditions and within the framework of sustainable development.

Obviously, the above goals are not easily achievable. One of the major obstacles is the broad gap between the reduction targets raised by the developed nations and the historical obligations they are supposed to take and also the demands of the developing countries. The other is that the response of the developed nations on issues of adaptation, financial support and technical transfer is far distant from the expectations of the developing world. Their proposal of abandoning the Protocol is completely at odds with the stance of developing countries. There are plenty of challenges down the road of negotiations under the Bali Roadmap, but it is the shared desire of the world to cope with climate change through global efforts. China will continue its active and constructive role in this aspect, and work with other parties toward achieving comprehensive, balanced and legally binding results at the Cancun Conference scheduled by the Bali Roadmap.


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