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China playing its part by ensuring its steps to address climate challenge are meaningful: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-03 18:56
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A photographer takes photos beside a logo of COP28 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Nov 29, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

This year has been the hottest on record. The latest in a sweltering series of record-breaking years in which too many climate-related disasters have been witnessed.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell was not crying wolf when he lamented in Dubai at COP28 that the world is "taking baby steps" and making progress "far too slowly" to curb the cataclysm-heralding rise in the global temperature. "We are paying with people's lives and livelihoods," he warned.

Stiell urged those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in the United Arab Emirates from Nov 30 until Dec 12 to rise to the challenge and he called on governments to "teach climate action to run". That requires ramped-up nationally determined contributions and the willingness to ensure that they are more than just lip service to meaningful action, as well as the honoring of financing pledges and greater resolve to shrink the climate action funding gap.

This photo taken on Nov 29, 2023 shows the China Pavilion of COP28 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's efforts in this regard have been widely recognized and it is regarded as a crucial agent and catalyst of the change required to realize the essential green transition. This is because the country has moved decidedly and effectively with the green transition in mind. By 2022, the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in China had dropped over 51 percent from the level in 2005. Besides, the Chinese government has also arranged 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in special funds to support South-South climate cooperation. Climate response is increasingly taking over from the past pursuit of fast growth as the shaper of China's modernization path, and it is a key area for cooperation between China and the developed countries as well.

In his speech at the COP28, Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang highlighted three steps that are of critical significance to effectively addressing climate change: Practice multilateral cooperation, accelerate the green transition, and take actions to honor commitments that have already been made.

Proceeding from common but differentiated responsibilities, Beijing has been consistent in urging developed countries to help developing nations with their climate change responses. At the same time, despite being a developing country itself, China is shouldering its responsibility as the world's second-largest economy and offering climate assistance.

The COPs are the world's only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change. This year's COP, with almost the complete participation of every country, has set a record itself, witnessing the biggest participation in any COP while highlighting the sense of urgency that prevails and the widening consensus that no country can stay out of the picture as the impacts of climate change leave no country unscathed.

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