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President Calls on Major Economies to Combat Climate Change

Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward a three-point proposal Wednesday for the world's major economies on the fight against climate change.

Hu made the proposal when addressing the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, which gathered leaders from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and the Group of Eight (G8) nations at Toyako, a resort town on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

"As countries represented at this meeting differ in terms of stage of development, level of scientific and technological development and national conditions, our endeavor to combat climate change should be guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," he said. "We believe efforts should be made in the following areas."

Firstly, Hu said, major economies should play an exemplary role in fulfilling the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol.

The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, which have established the framework, principles and goals for international cooperation on climate change, reflect the differences in the level of economic development, historical responsibilities and per capita emissions among countries and set out the efforts that developed and developing countries should make respectively, he said.

"Developed countries should make earnest efforts to attain the goal of emission reduction defined in the Protocol and take concrete measures to honor their commitments of providing funding and technology transfer to developing countries," Hu said.

"Developing countries should adopt policy measures for mitigation and adaptation and make whatever contribution as they can to the fight against climate change in the context of sustainable development," he added.

Secondly, major economies should actively advance international negotiations, said the Chinese president.

Hu said this year and the next are crucial to the effort in implementing the Bali Road Map, which charts the course and sets the timetable for international discussions on an international climate change arrangement after 2012.

"The international community should work together to ensure progress in international negotiations on climate change," he said. "In this process, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be observed."

Developed countries should make explicit commitments to continue to take the lead in emissions reduction, Hu said, adding that the "dual-track" negotiations should be pushed forward in a balanced way and concluded on schedule, and equal attention should be given to the four aspects of mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing.

The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol should serve as the main channel for international negotiations and cooperation on climate change, with other initiatives and mechanisms as useful supplements, he said.

"We should demonstrate the political will and show flexibility to ensure the success of the negotiations," Hu said.

The Chinese president said that thirdly, the world's major economies should take the lead in carrying out practical cooperation.

Financing and technology are crucial but weak links in cooperation on climate change, he said.

"There is now a huge funding gap in international cooperation on climate change. We should work to improve the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other existing financing mechanisms and promptly implement the projects under the Adaptation Fund to provide new and additional financial support for developing countries as they endeavor to adapt to climate change," Hu said.

Scientific and technological progress and innovation, as an effective means to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance adaptation capabilities, play a pace-setting role and buttress the efforts to tackle climate change, he said.

Hu urged the international community to establish effective technology transfer and dissemination mechanisms and realize technology sharing to ensure that developing countries can get affordable technologies that are both climate-friendly and environment-friendly.

"Given the strong complementarities that our countries have, weare fully capable of taking the lead in carrying out technological cooperation in this regard," he said.

The Chinese president arrived in Japan Monday and is scheduled to return home later Wednesday.

Prior to the major economies' meeting, he also attended an outreach session of the summit of G8 nations, including Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2008)

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