Home / China / Top Stories

China's target on greenhouse gas lauded by Kerry

By Chen Weihua in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-07-02 11:18

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday praised China's announcement of its new greenhouse gas emissions targets ahead of the United Nations Climate Conference to be held in Paris in December.

China formally submitted its targets to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Tuesday, while visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also made the announcement in Paris on Tuesday while meeting French President Francois Hollande.

Under the targets, China will peak its carbon dioxide emissions near the year 2030. It also aims to increase the share of nonfossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to about 20 percent by 2030, while reducing energy consumption per unit of economic output by 60 to 65 percent from its 2005 level.

"Leaders from around the world are signaling loud and clear that taking action to address climate change is a top priority," Kerry said in a statement released on Wednesday after China, South Korea, Serbia and Iceland all formally submitted their targets.

"Just last week, I convened the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, during which cooperation on climate change was a key area of discussion," Kerry said.

"China's submission this week delivers on those discussions and the commitment made during our historic joint announcement on climate change last November," said Kerry, referring to the landmark climate change deal announced by President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama in Beijing.

"Our two presidents stood together then - as leaders of the world's two largest economies - and pledged to take decisive steps to combat the global threat we know we can't wait any longer to address," said Kerry, who was instrumental in helping setting up the China-US working group on climate change in 2013.

The top American diplomat said the US looks forward to continued robust conversations with China in the coming months on remaining issues under negotiation as they head toward the Paris Conference of Parties in December.

Kerry's words came as US and Brazil released a joint statement this week establishing a joint climate-change working group and outlining key areas of cooperation on climate change.

As the impact of climate change becomes more and more apparent, world leaders are working domestically and internationally to enact the changes needed to stave off the worst effects, according to Kerry.

"These efforts are all the more important as we work globally to set a new pathway forward to decrease harmful emissions and transform to low-carbon economies," he said.

Kerry believes that the targets announced this week - in addition to those from the US, EU, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Russia and Japan - represent more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"While much work remains to be done to secure a durable climate agreement in Paris, I commend these leaders for helping to build momentum towards this goal," Kerry said. "I encourage more countries to come forward with ambitious commitments as we draw closer to this critical meeting."

Kerry and Obama have been ambitious in addressing climate change, but Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and many US lawmakers who disagree on the issue are looking to block Obama's fight. Climate change remains a divisive topic for 2016 US presidential candidates.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349