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China committed to addressing climate change

Updated: Jun 12,2015 3:43 PM     Xinhua

BONN — China is seeking to officially submit its “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC) to address global climate change by the end of this month, China’s chief climate negotiator Su Wei said on June 11.

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), all countries have been invited to submit their INDC to set out what they will do to combat global warming before December’s Paris climate talks.

China’s contributions will include its targets and policy measures to reduce emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change in the post-2020 period, Su, who was here to attend this year’s second round of UN climate negotiations, told Xinhua in an interview.

A joint statement on climate change issued by China and the United States last November, as well as Chinese leaders’ declaration at the United Nations Climate Summit last September, sent important policy signals that China will actively tackle the challenge, he said.

At the UN Climate Summit, China announced that it will make greater efforts to address climate change more effectively and take international responsibilities that are commensurate with its national conditions, stage of development and actual capabilities.

In the post-2020 period, China will make marked progress in reducing carbon intensity, increase the share of non-fossil fuels, and raise the forest stock.

In the joint statement with the United States, China said it intends to peak its carbon dioxide emission around 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.

According to Su, these announcements indicate the general targets and direction of China’s contributions and will be the core part of its INDC. Besides emission reduction, China’s INDC will also include its actions to adapt to climate change and concrete measures in implementation, policy, legislation and mechanism settings.

Regarding the fact that none of developed countries has mentioned other obligations than emission cutting in their INDC, Su said, although the “contributions” are “nationally determined,” they should still respect the principles and meet requirements of the UNFCCC.

The “Contributions” from developed countries should include not only emission reduction, but also their support in finance, technology and capability building for developing countries, he said.

Su said the Group of Seven (G7) countries had set their climate targets that looked ambitious, adding that instead of talking about the far future, they should make more efforts to meet their commitments in the coming years.

In 2009, developed countries committed themselves to increasing their financial support for developing countries to $100 billion a year by 2020. A clear road map to meet the commitment, however, has never been provided.

The chief negotiator said it has become a consensus that a new global climate agreement set to be reached in Paris is not just about emission reduction. Instead, the agreement should reflect mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capability building and transparency in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

China will continue to push forward the UN climate negotiation process as a constructive partner and actively join multilateral and bilateral communication, so as to make contributions to addressing global climate change and ensuring a successful climate conference in Paris, Su said.