Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

An ambitious deal in Paris is needed to boost green growth

By Zhu Qiwen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-26 08:13

An ambitious deal in Paris is needed to boost green growth

A photovoltaic power station in Dezhou, Shandong province. China's carbon emission rate has slowed down this year. Provided to China Daily

Global leaders should not allow their countries' current economic woes to dent their ambition to reach an agreement on transforming the world economy towards a low-carbon future.

Instead, they should do their best to achieve a climate deal that will not only reduce mankind's exposure to increasingly severe weather-related disasters but, more importantly, help create green economic growth and jobs.

Just before the representatives from nearly 200 nations are to meet in Paris on Nov 30 for talks aimed at striking a landmark deal on climate change, the UN issued a new report on Monday highlighting the necessity for immediate action.

The report found that over the past 20 years, 90 percent of major disasters have been caused by nearly 6,500 recorded floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events and more than 600,000 people have died as a result of these weather-related disasters, with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance.

While such evidence of the human cost of climate change makes it more urgent than ever to cut climate-warming greenhouse gases, encouraging progress by the world's largest emitters to clarify their very specific commitments will also help increase the chance for a new global deal to emerge from the upcoming climate conference.

For instance, in November last year, the United States and China agreed that the United States will cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent before 2025 and China will peak its carbon emissions by 2030, while aiming to get 20 percent of its energy from zero-emission sources by the same year.

Equally important is global businesses' support for an ambitious deal in Paris that could give a huge boost to their confidence to invest heavily in long-term green growth.

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