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Obama likely to take on climate change during second term

[ 2012-11-26 11:01] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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China expects US President Barack Obama will give climate change more attention in his upcoming second term, top climate change negotiator Su Wei said ahead of the climate change talks in Doha, Qatar.

Increasing extreme weather events are threatening the world, and the recent catastrophic Hurricane Sandy is likely to profoundly influence US climate change policy, Su said.

"But it would be difficult for President Obama to make large adjustments during the final stage of his first term, so we expect more will happen in his second term," Su said.

"It's not only a policy issue, but also involves the implementation of the policy," he said.

In his re-election victory speech this month, Obama mentioned "the destructive power of a warming planet", raising international expectation that he will more actively address climate change during his second term.

At the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen, Obama pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, but the Senate failed to pass the necessary legislation. In addition, the US never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding agreement that set targets for industrialized nations to cut emissions.

Zou Ji, deputy director of the National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Center, said the climate-change policy of the US after the election remains unclear.

"It seems Obama has the political willingness to support addressing climate change, but his actions were limited by Capitol Hill. Even 'emission trading' remains a sensitive word in the US Congress, let alone words like 'bill' or 'cap'," said Zou.

Chinese officials have repeatedly recognized the leading role the EU played in climate-change talks, but they also said the EU's emissions reduction target is too low.

The EU pledged to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Some observers have called on a more ambitious cut of 30 percent.

Developed economies need to pay the bill for their unrestricted emissions during their more than 200 year process of industrialization, Su said.

Developed economies as a group should reduce their emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Obama likely to take on climate change during second term

About the broadcaster:

Obama likely to take on climate change during second term

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.