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Flexibility at Durban gives hope

[ 2011-12-06 16:38]     字号 [] [] []  
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China's openness toward a legally binding climate deal that would come into effect after 2020 has given a boost to the ongoing climate change talks in Durban.

Experts said the flexibility that China showed is encouraging, but it's also important to pressure developed countries for deeper emission reduction targets.

Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate negotiator, said that China is willing to shoulder responsibilities in line with its development and capability as long as the legal framework after 2020 will comply with the principles of 'common but differentiated' responsibilities.

He laid out five preconditions of such a legal framework, including an extension of the KyotoProtocol and actions by developed countries to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

Xie said there are no new requirements, but countries need to implement the commitments and legal documents that have already been agreed to.

Tim Gore, Oxfam climate change policy adviser, said what seems to be missing in China's conditions is requesting deeper emission reduction targets from developed countries before 2020.

The fate of the Kyoto Protocol, regarded as the cornerstone and most crucial issue at the meeting by developing countries, is still in the air one week into the conference.

Developed countries are being urged to sign onto a new round of enforceable pledges under the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding agreement that sets targets for major developed countries. The first commitment period of the treaty will expire in 2012.

So far, no country has said they will not continue the Kyoto Protocol, while some said they won't have a second commitment period after the first expires.

Canada, Russia and Japan said they will not agree to a second commitment period, while the European Union has showed a willingness to extend its commitments under the treaty but also suggested a broader global pact covering major emitters.

Connie Hedegaard, EU commissioner for climate action, said that the length of a second commitment period will depend on what will be on the roadmap and what the timelines there will be, and what should be avoided is the gap between the two commitment periods.

If the new system comes into force earlier, Europe could have a short commitment period instead of a longer one, she said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Flexibility at Durban gives hope

About the broadcaster:

Flexibility at Durban gives hope

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.