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China to Shoulder Due Responsibilities in Countering Climate Change

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China supports the development of a low-carbon economy, and will not shrug off its due responsibilities in countering global climate change, an environment expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said Thursday.

Although China has not made quantified emission reduction commitments so far, the country will not step back from the responsibility to protect the global climate, Pan Jiahua, director of the CASS Research Center for Urban Development and Environment, said at a press conference on CASS's Annual Report on Climate Change Actions 2009.

China has not voiced objection to the long-term objective to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), he added.

In fact, he said, China has done a lot to address climate changes.

China and India on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on cooperation in dealing with climate change.

Last Month, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the country would cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by "a notable margin" in the decade to 2020.

The country has also committed to raising the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020.

Pan said China could make even greater contributions to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, with sufficient and quantified financing and technology support from developed countries.

But he also added that conditions were not yet ripe for China, still a developing country, to make quantified emission reduction commitments, or to specify when its emissions might peak at the current stage.

He cited such facts as China still being in the middle of the industrialization and urbanization process, its still growing population, incomplete infrastructure, and relatively limited access to technologies and financing.

The development came just two months ahead of the Copenhagen meeting scheduled in December. About 190 countries are expected to attend the meeting and renew greenhouse gases emissions reduction targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, which are to expire in 2012.

But according to a separate report released by the CASS Thursday, the think tank was not certain whether the Copenhagen meeting would produce all expected results due to disputes among nations.

In the UN climate change talk held in Bangkok from September 28 to October 9, the report said, some developed countries proposed to abandon the principle of the "common but differentiated responsibilities" among developed and developing countries in line with the Bali Roadmap.

The proposal posed obstacles to a fruitful round of talks in Copenhagen, the report said.

It said it was possible that only a framework political protocol would be reached in Copenhagen, leaving specific targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction to be discussed in later talks.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2009)

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