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China plays key role in ensuring success of Copenhagen climate talks

2009-12-25 16:35 BJT

Special Report: UN climate change conference in Copenhagen |

by Xinhua writer Yu Zhixiao

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Undeniable facts showed China, by demonstrating sincerity, confidence and determination, has exerted maximum efforts to move forward the Copenhagen climate change negotiations with an eye on striking a widely accepted accord.


Before arriving in Copenhagen on Dec. 16, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had held telephone talks on climate change issues with leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, Ethiopia, Denmark, Germany, Britain and the UN secretary-general.

During the Copenhagen conference, Wen carried out shuttle diplomacy and requested host country Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and UN chief Ban Ki-moon to uphold fairness. For several times Wen attended the gatherings of leaders of the BASIC countries, which include China, India, South Africa and Brazil.

He also met U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on climate change, and expressed his understanding of the particular concerns of small island countries, and the under-developed and African countries on the climate issue.

China, at the conference, also made some concessions to show its sincerity and the spirit of cooperation. For example, China backed off and conceded the target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times be written into the Copenhagen Accord.

Moreover, China has not only helped developing countries gain as much fund as possible from developed countries to fight climate change, but provided aid within its capacity to developing countries.


China's confidence was highlighted in its adherence to its substantial principles on climate change.

First, China stuck to the dual-track mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."

Second, China turned down some developed countries' demands to link China's voluntary mitigation actions with developed countries' compulsory emissions reduction targets. Premier Wen said the Chinese commitments are "nonnegotiable and unconditional."

Third, China refused to set a fixed year for peak emissions, as it would more or less hinder the development of developing countries, which are still faced with the priority tasks of economic development and poverty reduction. China believed it was unhelpful to prescribe such a year, as different countries had different characteristics and were at different development stages, and developing countries may face more uncertainties in their future development.