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Developing Countries Need Stronger Support to Adapt to Climate Change

More should be done to help developing countries adapt to the consequences caused by climate change, a Chinese official said on Thursday.

These should include stronger technological and financial support to developing countries, and a new international organization to coordinate issues related to climate change, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang told a Beijing seminar.

Developed and developing countries share "common but differentiated" responsibilities when the whole world tried to cope with serious consequences of climate change, he said.

"Developed countries must shoulder their historical responsibilities to provide technological and financial support to developing countries."

The two-day seminar, opened on Thursday, focused on how member states of East Asia Summit (EAS) could build capacity to adapt themselves to climate change.

EAS is a forum held annually by the leaders of 16 countries in the East Asian region, including the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, plus China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

"Developing countries are most vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change. Compared with developed countries, they could suffer much more losses if measures were not taken efficiently," he said.

Developed countries should speed up technological transfer and lower the cost to benefit developing countries.

Meanwhile, developing countries should enhance their understanding of possible impacts brought about by climate change, and improve policy and capacity building to better respond to climate change, he said.

An international agency should be established to bring all relevant countries and experts together to "plan, organize, coordinate and evaluate" global actions against climate change, Wan said.

The seminar was initiated by China's Foreign Affairs and Science and Technology ministries, and the National Development and Reform Commission. It was attended by more than 100 Chinese officials and representatives of EAS, ASEAN, the United Nations Development Program and the UN Environment Program.

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2008)

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