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China strives for positive outcomes at UN climate talks in Peru

Updated: Dec 5,2014 5:37 PM     Xinhua

LIMA — China is striving for positive outcomes from the annual UN global climate change talks in the Peruvian capital of Lima, Su Wei, chief negotiator of the Chinese delegation to the talks, said on Dec 4.

The talks are of great importance for a historic agreement addressing climate change, planned to be passed at the end of 2015 in Paris which will come into force in 2020, Su, also deputy chief of the Chinese delegation, told reporters.

The Lima Climate Change Conference, as well as the Paris meeting next year, are vital for UN climate talks, Su said on the sidelines of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

He added that during the two-week meeting, which started on Dec 1, the parties should work out major terms for the Paris agreement and resolve such issues as fundraising.

Since the 2011 climate talks in Durban, South Africa, all parties have been holding dialogues on key issues relating to the new agreement, including mitigation, adaptation, financial support, technical transfer and capacity building.

On fundraising for a new UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), Su said donor pledges from the international community totaled $93 billion in the past four years — only a tenth of the amount promised by developed nations per year to help developing nations cut emissions and adapt to climate change by 2020.

There is still no clear road map or approach in this regard, he said.

In October, the third round of UN 2014 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, failed to reach a concrete conclusion on elements of the 2015 agreement and what should be included in “intended nationally determined contributions,” which were requested to be submitted by governments early next year.

When asked about China’s target on its “intended nationally determined contributions”, Su said his country was making evaluations and studies and would announce it within the first half of next year.

He said that at the UN Climate Summit in September, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli put forward China’s target for reducing carbon intensity, increasing the share of non-fossil fuels, and raising forest stock.

According to a program of action adopted by China earlier this year, the world’s most populous and largest developing country will reach the peak of its total CO2 emissions as early as possible.

In a joint statement issued during a November visit to Beijing by US President Barack Obama, China pledged to achieve the peak of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030, and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.

All those promises will be included in China’s target for its “intended nationally determined contributions” to addressing climate change, Su said.

In the joint statement, the United States also promised to cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below the 2005 level by 2025.

Su said that despite emission reduction’s negative effects on economic development and prosperity, the two countries’ leaders still released the statement to help UN climate talks achieve real results although it is neither a joint action plan nor a joint goal.

The statement does makes a distinction in responsibilities between developed and developing countries, he noted.

He said the United States and China, as the largest developed nation and the largest developing nation, would take actions to address climate change.

China needs to develop its economy and raise the living standard of the poor, Su said, adding that the country should also cut greenhouse gas emissions, advocate a low-carbon lifestyle and pursue sustainable development.

He urged developed countries to continue to take the lead in cutting emissions by large margins, saying China hopes that the Lima conference will uphold the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in tackling climate change.

China will make “more strenuous efforts after 2020” to make its “due contribution” to reduce global warming, he said.