Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Rich countries must take a leaf out of China's climate book

By Fu Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-19 08:23

After Xi Jinping assumed office as president in 2013, China has become even more active in meeting global climate challenges by offering cooperation-oriented solutions. Also, China has invested ample political capital and efforts to reduce emissions and promote clean energy.

Apart from bilateral commitments with the European Union, Ranee, the United Kingdom and India, China has also signed three climate deals with the United States in the past three years. It is indeed heartening to see the two largest economies speaking the same language on dealing with a critical human challenge. In feet, it was because of such efforts between China and the US and other global players that the successful conclusion to the Paris climate change conference was achieved.

This Friday, China and the US win once again take the lead at the signing ceremony, signaling the one-year period for the agreement's signature by all UN members. The agreement win come into force after 55 countries, which account for at least 55 percent of the global emissions, ratify the deal Partly due the leading efforts of China and the US, the process of signing and ratifying the deal win gain momentum and it is likely that it win become effective in 2018, two years ahead of schedule.

But all this is easier said than done, because for most global players, it remains a challenge to put words into action. In this regard, China has set an example by adjusting its policies to meet its goal. For instance, the Communist Party of China has written "ecological civilization" into its leading guidelines for good governance. And the government, on its part, has put green development high on its agenda to devise its economic, social and environmental blueprint for the next five years.

Besides, China is committed to realizing its carbon peak by 2030, which will be a historic achievement. This should prompt other countries to make greater efforts to deliver their promises.

But the rich countries have not kept the promises they made in Copenhagen or their vow in Paris to work out a road map to provide $100 billion as climate assistance by 2020 for poor countries to fight climate change And thus they risk facing a 'lost decade" if they continue to violate their promise to help poor countries fight climate change. The rich countries should keep this in mind when they meet in New York on Earth Day.

The author is deputy editor of China Daily European Edition.

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