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Leading role pledged to fight climate change

[ 2012-11-22 10:19] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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The nation's top climate-change official expressed China's readiness on Wednesday to play an active and constructive role in international efforts to combat global warming ahead of a major UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar.

China is seeking a turning point in terms of its emissions and attempting to peak its carbon emissions as early as it can, Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said.

The world is paying close attention to when China hits peak emissions.

"At this stage, it would be unfair and unreasonable to require China to reduce its carbon emissions in absolute terms," Xie said.

But measures have been put in place to make sure emissions are curbed, he said.

The two-week UN climate change conference opens in the Qatari capital on Monday.

Regarding the motion at last year's UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, that a climate deal would be reached by 2015, at the latest, and come into effect in 2020, Xie said China's attitude is both active and open.

He pointed out that the Durban conference agreed that negotiations for the post-2020 treaty should adhere to the principles of "fairness, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities".

China is adamant that these positions must be followed in negotiations, he said.

The core issue of the Doha conference is that developed countries should "substantially" reduce emissions, in line with "common but differentiated responsibilities" and set targets for a second-commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, said Xie. The first commitment period ends at the end of December.

As China's per-capita emissions are close to, or almost equal to, the global average, the country is facing challenges in coping with climate change and must adopt a greener, low-carbon path, he said.

The Doha conference is a nexus of climate negotiations and all parties must come up with clear targets in a second commitment, said a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Jiang Kejun, researcher at the Energy Research Institute at the National Development and Reform Commission, said China's large population, GDP base and energy mix are the main reasons behind the emissions.

Instead of pledging more emissions, each country, especially key developing economies, should find ways of reducing emissions by innovating technology and restructuring the energy mix, said Jiang.

China is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The NDRC said in a report this year that extreme weather events in 2011 brought direct economic losses of 309 billion yuan ($49.6 billion).

Action on climate change needs to be accelerated immediately if the world is to have a real chance of keeping a global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century, said a report released by the UN Environment Program and the European Climate Foundation on Tuesday.

The report showed the emission gap is bigger than earlier assessments. Greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 percent above where they need to be in 2020.


1. Where is the conference held?

2. By what year is the climate deal aiming to come into effect?

3. How much money was lost due to extreme weather events in China in 2011?


1. Doha, Qatar.

2. 2020.

3. 309 billion yuan.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Leading role pledged to fight climate change

About the broadcaster:

Leading role pledged to fight climate change

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.