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China urges turning climate talks into action

Updated: 2012-11-25 21:55
By Wu Wencong and Lan Lan in Doha, Qatar ()

The main job for the Doha Climate Change Conference is to start implementing what we've already agreed on in the past, China's chief climate change negotiator said on Sunday.

The 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Doha, Qatar, between Nov 26 and Dec 7.

"The Doha conference is a nexus of climate change negotiations. The key issue is to put the consensus made since the Copenhagen conference into practice," said Su Wei, director of the climate change department at the National Development and Reform Commission, one day before the opening ceremony of the conference.

"One of the main tasks is to come up with clearly committed, implementable plans and arrangements on how to continue the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and to make it work starting from Jan 1, 2013," said Su.

"For countries that haven't joined the Kyoto Protocol or declined to join the second commitment period, discussions on their commitment beyond the protocol also should be arranged."

Su said funding is another vital issue to be focused on during the Doha conference.

According to the Copenhagen Accord, developed countries should raise funds of $30 billion from 2010-2012 as fast-start finance. Other long-term funds of $100 billion should be raised before 2020 to help developing countries cut carbon emissions.

"The fast-start finance will be due by the end of 2012, and money for 2013 is still unfunded," said Su.

"Of course we don't expect developed countries to provide large amounts of money in a short time under the current global economic situation, but the key to this problem lies with their sincerity and understanding of the historical responsibilities they bear."

He said other important issues for the two-week negotiations include how to implement fairness, "common but differentiated responsibilities", and technology transfer issues.

Su said though China has become the biggest emitter with emissions still growing fast, critics should also take into account the per capita emission and the country's stage of development.

He said emissions law and the development stage governs the trend of a country's emissions.

"Annual per capita income in developed countries has reached $50,000, still it is hard to say whether they have reached their emissions peak," said Su. "Annual per capita income in China is only $5,000 now. Sure we will try our best to cap our emissions as soon as possible, but I'm afraid the existing law is hard to break."

He also made clear that as part of the global industry chain, China is like a huge factory, producing goods to meet the whole world's needs.

"Large amounts of emissions were not meant to satisfy China's own consumption, yet China is the one to be blamed," said Su, emphasizing that emissions do not solely have the biggest impact on climate change, what does is the historical accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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