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China driving climate talks and 'uniting voices' on rules

By Wang Yanfei in Bonn, Germany | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-20 07:13

China has demonstrated a strong influence in promoting this year's UN climate talks on discussing detailed rules for implementing the Paris agreement, shouldering new responsibilities after the United States left a void in leaving the pact, according to senior officials and delegates.

"China has played a key role in bridging groups with completely different negotiation interests this year," Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative for climate change affairs, said in Bonn, Germany, after the climate talks concluded.

China has strived to unite developing nations, resolving differences across signatories asking developed nations to make stronger commitment to pre-2020 actions.

Developed nations agreed to address pre-2020 concerns, and agreed to take stock on improving the roadmap of mobilizing $100 billion per year and review the emission targets prior to 2020, according to the two-page document on pre-2020 actions.

The pre-2020 actions will be discussed as one of key issues in future climate talks, according to the document.

The results have largely met developing countries' demands, reflected by texts agreed in documents, according to Xie.

While uniting voices across developing nations and specifically, the BASICS bloc, referring to the four emerging economies of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, China has moved forward seeking for broader consensus with countries from developed nations.

The Chinese delegation had formal and informal multilateral talks with the EU, Canada, and the United States.

"China has now become more capable to guide the conversation, considering its economic scale and rising global status. The US withdrawal has provided the opportunity for China to flex its muscle, although China has vowed to put more focus on domestic efforts," said an observer.

China is awaiting the final approval from the central government to launch the nationwide carbon market, and is striving to achieve more than the Paris pledges, according to Gou Haibo, a senior representative for climate change negotiations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"On some issues China remains quite neutral, so China is able to connect groups with different interests," said a delegate from Chinese delegation who declined to be named, "the change became more apparent after the US decided to leave the pact".

"On whether China is filling the void left by the US, it is too early to make judgment," the delegate said. "We shoulder different responsibilities for emissions and for financing."

wangyanfei@chinadaily.com.cn

China driving climate talks and 'uniting voices' on rules

(China Daily 11/20/2017 page11)

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