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Signees of Paris pact urged to take real measures

Updated: Nov 2,2016 7:48 AM     China Daily

China on Nov 1 called for countries who signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to build political trust and take real measures to implement relevant agreements.

“This is our hope,” Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, told a news conference ahead of the new round of global climate change talks in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, scheduled for Nov 7 to 18.

Xie said participants in the Paris meeting late last year had played a constructive role in pushing the global initiative as they sought cooperation in the negotiations. “We hope such a tone continues at the Marrakech talks.”

He said concerned countries must meet their promises to lay a solid foundation for future talks. For example, developed countries should maintain their commitment to jointly provide $100 billion a year by 2020 for programs to help developing countries gain capital, technology and capacities to cut emissions, Xie said. “The sum should continue to increase after 2020.”

If developed countries are not capable of providing the promised funding, they should give a clear timetable and road map on aiding developing countries’ efforts to fight climate change, Xie said. “Some developed countries, such as the UK and Australia, have expressed their confidence in meeting and even exceeding the $100 billion assistance target.”

“The global financial crisis eight years ago and the ensuing economic downturn have put financial pressures on the developed world and some developed nations might find it difficult to earmark such large sums of money for helping the emission-cutting initiatives of developing countries,” said Liang Haiming, chief economist of China Silk Road iValley Research Institute, a Beijing-based think tank. “They might prioritize domestic economic growth instead of the global reduction of emissions. China should play a leading role in pushing the global initiative.”

The Paris Agreement, a global accord negotiated by more than 190 governments to fight climate change, will take effect on Nov 4.

China has made headway in meeting its emission and energy-use reduction targets, Xie said. Its energy use per unit of GDP, for example, dropped by 5.2 percent in the first three quarters compared with the whole of last year, already exceeding the whole-year target of 3.4 percent for this year, he added.

China also plans to launch a national carbon trading scheme next year, Xie said, adding that pilot programs of the scheme have already traded 120 million carbon allowances, with total transactions reaching 3.2 billion yuan ($472.7 million).

China will soon release its low-carbon development strategy for the upcoming years until 2050, Xie said.

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