Singapore (AFP) Nov 12, 2009
China said Thursday it would seek a "fair and reasonable" result at world climate talks next month but insisted rich nations must bear most of the burden for tackling global warming.
"Climate change is an enormous challenge faced by all of mankind and requires a cooperative response by all countries," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
"China is willing to make positive efforts with all sides and contribute to the promotion of a fair and reasonable result at the Copenhagen meeting," he said at ministerial talks ahead of the group's weekend summit in Singapore.
China is expected to face pressure from developed nations to make firm commitments to combat climate change at the talks in the Danish capital from December 7, aimed at crafting a new binding pact to combat global warming.
However, Yang reiterated Beijing's position that nations must stick to previous UN agreements that place most of the burden for cutting greenhouse gas emissions on developed nations.
"International cooperation (on climate change) should be according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," he said.
China argues that rich nations bear historic responsibility for climate change and that developing nations should not be legally bound to cut carbon emissions blamed for rising temperatures.
China has surpassed the United States as the world's top carbon emitter but argues that its per capita emissions -- based on its huge population of 1.3 billion people -- are much lower than those of the United States.
President Hu Jintao told a September summit at the United Nations that China would reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions as a percentage of economic growth by a "notable margin" by 2020 from their 2005 levels.
He did not specify a figure, but a leading Chinese government-led think tank has proposed cutting carbon intensity by four to five percent each year from 2005 baseline levels, state media reported Thursday.
The China Daily report said experts at the China Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development were to submit their proposal to the government, and were to be received by Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday.
The proposal says a four to five percent annual cut was required if China hoped to achieve its low-carbon development goal by 2050, and would see carbon intensity "fall by between 85 and 90 percent by the middle of the century".
The China Daily said it was the first time a high-level organisation had made concrete proposals on emissions reductions since Hu's September speech.
The group is made up of about 200 experts including some of China's top environmental protection officials and economic planners, as well as analysts from overseas.
"If China is to meet the target of year-on-year emissions cuts of between four and five percent, it will need to reduce energy intensity by between 75 and 85 percent by 2050," the newspaper cited the report as saying.
"In addition, the proportion of manufacturing industry within the national economic structure would need to be cut from the current 50 percent to around 30 percent by the middle of the century," it added.
China set the goal of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent per unit of GDP from between 2006 and 2010.
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US pushes for compromise in Copenhagen climate talks
Singapore (AFP) Nov 11, 2009
The United States called Wednesday for a compromise at next month's global climate talks in Copenhagen and vowed to support a fund to help developing countries cope with emissions cuts. "We cannot let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of progress," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a news conference in Singapore ahead of a weekend Pacific Rim summit to be attended by ... read more
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