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China Opposes Int'l Monitoring of Voluntary Mitigation, Calls for Document

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China Thursday reiterated its objection to subjecting its voluntary mitigation actions to international monitoring and urged parties at the ongoing Copenhagen UN climate talks to lock in their commitments in a document based on "common but differentiated responsibilities."

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told reporters that Premier Wen Jiabao made that clear at meetings with some world leaders on the sidelines of the Climate Change Conference.

Negotiators from more than 190 countries are running against time to wrap up the 12-day talks, hoping to seal a deal to move forward the global fight against climate change before world leaders meet Friday.

The Bali Action Plan has clear stipulations regarding whether a country's mitigation actions should be subject to international scrutiny, He quoted Wen as saying.

"For developing countries, only those mitigation actions supported internationally will be subject to MRV (measurement, reporting and verification). The voluntary mitigation actions should not be subject to international MRV," Wen said, referring to the scheme requiring national mitigation actions to be "measurable, reportable and verifiable."

The Bali Action Plan, adopted by both developed and developing countries in 2007, lays down the basis for the current negotiations. Disregarding on what they have agreed, developed countries are trying to press China to accept international monitoring of its national mitigation actions.

The United States said Thursday that it was prepared to join other rich countries in raising US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries combat climate change, but set a condition that emerging countries including China should accept international monitoring of its mitigation actions.

"In the context of a strong accord in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing US$100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a press conference in Copenhagen.

According to He, Wen said China's refusal of international monitoring does not mean the country is afraid of supervision. Instead, China will take necessary domestic measures to ensure full transparency and implementation of its national mitigation actions. "There would be a monitoring and verification regime inside China which is legally binding in China."

Wen told the world leaders whom he met here that the Chinese commitment on mitigation actions is "non-negotiable and unconditional," the vice foreign minister said.

China's commitment is not conditioned on or linked with commitments by any other countries, developed or developing alike, and China will fulfill it regardless of the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks, He cited Wen as saying.

If a document on fighting climate change can be made in Copenhagen, it can mark a huge step forward, Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2009)