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Copenhagen Accord a Step of 'Important Significance' on Climate Change: China's Top Meteorologist

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China's top meteorologist said on Tuesday that the Copenhagen Accord, a non-legally binding document adopted after a two week-long climate change conference in Denmark, can be seen as an important and significant step forward.

"The results achieved at the conference are not destination, but a new starting point," said Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, in an interview with Xinhua.

The accord upheld the dual-track mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol as well as the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", which reflects the consensus reached by all parties since the Bali Road Map negotiations started, said Zheng.

Developed countries agreed in the accord to offer US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help with their developing counterparts' efforts in tackling climate change. The accord also set a target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times.

"Although there is a certain gap between the pledges made by developed countries and the fund demand of developing countries, it after all has put forward a quantitative and predictable target," said Zheng.

Zheng said developed countries should face up and assume their responsibilities and take a lead in emissions cut and provide financial and technological support to developing countries.

"This is the legal obligation they must fulfill and moral responsibilities they can not shirk," said Zheng.

He said developing countries would mitigate greenhouse gas emissions with the support of fund and technology from developed countries in accordance with their own national situations.

China, as a responsible developing country, will unswervingly follow the path of sustainable development, said Zheng.

The Chinese government has set the target for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This is a voluntary action China has taken in the light of its national circumstances, said Zheng.

"The action, with no strings attached, is not linked up with the emissions cut targets of any other country," said Zheng.

In an interview with Xinhua on Monday, Premier Wen Jiabao said that China would like to work with other countries, with the Copenhagen talks as a new beginning, to honor commitments, cooperate more closely and conclude the "Bali Road Map" negotiations at an early date.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2009)

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