Foreign and Military Affairs

China's emission peak depends on developed nations

Updated: 2010-10-06 22:49
Large Medium Small

Tianjin - China's top climate change official said on Wednesday that the country's greenhouse gas emissions would peak earlier than expected if developed countries complied with international protocols.

"We will try to get past the peak of emissions as early as possible, but this also hinges on how much money the developed nations will offer and what technology they will transfer, as required by the international protocols," Xie Zhenhua, who is also vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations climate talks in northern China's Tianjin.

Related readings:
China's emission peak depends on developed nations China 'constructive' in climate change talks
China's emission peak depends on developed nations Balance sought for climate change
China's emission peak depends on developed nationsChina calls for balanced way to tackle climate change
China's emission peak depends on developed nations 
UN climate change talks open in Tianjin

"The more money they provide, or the earlier the money arrives, the sooner we should be able to pass the emissions peak," Xie said.

He noted some developed countries, even with a per capita GDP of more than 40,000 US dollars per year, have yet to reach their emissions peak as their greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

"Under such circumstances, how can you ask China, with a per capita GDP just over 3,000 US dollars, to foresee its peak?" he asked.

After three rounds of talks this year, which are moving slowly towards a negotiated text for the Cancun meeting, more than 3,000 delegates from 194 nations gathered in Tianjin to speed the search for common ground prior to a major meeting in Mexico's Cancun at the end of the year.

However, the gap remains wide between developed and developing nations as rich nations remain wary of green technology transfers and providing additional financing to poorer nations.

They are also concerned about the excessive demands of transparency by developed countries seeking an accounting by developing countries over their voluntary efforts to cut emissions, even though developing countries have no obligation to comply.

At last year's meeting in Copenhagen, wealthy countries asked for consultations and analysis on the voluntary domestic green efforts of developing nations in exchange for quick financing. Cash-strapped developing countries agreed.

"It is unreasonable and unacceptable that rich countries set tough standards to verify a developing nations's green efforts when it totally relies on its own money and technology to do so, " Xie said.

"If we use a rich country's resources, we certainly have the obligation to report. But if we don't, that is another case," he said.

He said a rise in greenhouse gas emissions in China and other developing countries was reasonable, given that they faced the daunting challenges of developing their economies and improving people's lives.

"The key is how to slow down the emission growth so it won't get out of control. And China has taken concrete actions on that," he added.

He urged rich nations to effectively implement the quick financing they pledged, which, he said, would be a key element towards rebuilding trust between the rich and poorer nations.

Developed countries should take a leading role in substantially raising their emission reducing targets, while developing countries should also make their own contributions.

At the end of last year, China announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

As part of that goal, the government has been stepping up closures of outdated production capacity, which has been blamed for pollution and hindering upgrading industry.

Over the past four years, China eliminated 60 million kw of high energy-intensive power generation capacity, which is more than the total installed power generation capacity of the whole United Kingdom.