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China Urges Practical Action to Slow Climate Change

A senior Chinese official said in Honolulu, United States Wednesday that all relevant countries should take practical actions to slow down the climate change process.

Addressing a closed session at the second "Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change," which opened here Wednesday, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said that to discuss about setting a long-term goal for slowing down climate change requires time.

"What matters most now is to urge all countries in their various development phases to take practical action in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

The UNFCCC is the parent of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the landmark environmental treaty negotiated in Japan's ancient capital that mandates cuts in the gases blamed for global warming.

While working on a long-term target for slowing down the climate change, all countries involved should be aware that the formulating process itself must be scientific, environmentally valid, economically feasible and fair, he said, adding that historical accumulation, per capital emissions and the development demand of the developing countries should also be weighed as well.

He made the remarks in response to greenhouse gases emission reduction targets proposed by the European Union and some other countries.

The European Union proposed that the global emissions of greenhouse gases should be cut by 50 percent by 2050 in comparison with that in 1990, while some other countries proposed that the emissoins should be deducted by 50 percent than present.

It is hard to reach the target, he stressed.

Xie, who is regarded as the initiator and leader of China's environmental protection program, spoke highly of the various measures and achievements taken and scored by the developing nations in combating climate change.

China, India and other developing countries have cut more emissions of greenhouse gases than they pledged in the Tokyo Protocol, he said, noting some developed nations, however, have discharged more greenhouse gases than they should have with the total emissions rising by 11 percent from 1990 to 2004.

Xie, the special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao, noted that China will never discharge greenhouse gases randomly and willfully, but contribute to the concerted efforts of the world in its fight against climate change by joining hands with the international community.

He also commended the Bali Roadmap, which was adopted at the 13- day conference in Bali of Indonesia in December of 2007, staged by the UNFCCC, a strategy to tackle global warming.

The conference culminated in the adoption of the Bali roadmap, which charts the course for a new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 that will ultimately lead to a post-2012 international agreement on climate change. Ground-breaking decisions were taken which form core elements of the roadmap.

The two-day meeting in Hawaii is aimed at "developing a detailed contribution in support of the Bali Roadmap for UN Negotiations," the organizers said.

Bush held the first round of the meeting in September 2007 under an initiative he proposed in June in the face of intensifying international pressure for Washington to do more to battle greenhouse-gas emissions.

(China Daily February 1, 2008)

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