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UN applauds China’s climate change efforts

Updated: Aug 29,2017 7:37 AM     China Daily

The United Nations appreciates China’s sustained efforts to fight climate change, the UN climate chief said.

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Connection on Climate Change, said the UN looks favorably upon China’s strong commitment to transform to a greener and more sustainable development path.

“China has gradually played a more significant role leading global efforts to fight ... climate change,” she said, adding that the UN expects China is able to continue playing a role in pushing the Paris pact forward.

The Paris Agreement was sealed in 2015 by nearly 200 parties worldwide.

“Many developing countries are looking at China and hope to learn from Chinese experiences,” she said.

While striving to switch to a greener development path, China has been actively getting involved, providing support to less developed countries through schemes such as south-south cooperation.

While she expressed regret at the US decision to pull out of the pact, the Paris agreement will move forward, she said.

She said trade issues should not be an obstacle that affect cooperation between countries or cast a shadow on cooperation to fight climate change.

US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US out of the pact earlier this year. But the private sector in the United States has been continuing a shift toward cleaner energy, she said.

Under the rules of the Paris deal, the earliest time that any party can leave is Nov 4, 2020.

That means the US still has to wait an additional three years to finally leave the pact.

Before the US is able to leave the agreement, other parties should take crucial steps to implement the agreement and ramp up their immediate steps to tackle climate change, she said.

“Climate fund will be one key issue to be discussed during the next UN climate change conference,” she said.

Guo Hongyu, a climate researcher at NGO Greenovation Hub, said the exit of the US clearly makes the climate task harder, but the pact will move forward with more than 190 parties still part of the agreement.

“With the US withdrawal, China is able to expand collaboration with other parties seeking ... cooperation,” she said.

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