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Xi, Modi urge rich nations to honour $100bn climate aid goal
December 1, 2015, 5:12 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping  at the opening ceremony of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged all countries, particularly developed countries to do more to reach a deal in Paris during separate speeches at the opening ceremony of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Both Xi and Modi called on developed countries to adhere to their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing nations by 2020.

The Chinese President said the Paris conference must “accommodate the national conditions of various countries”.

“It is imperative to respect differences among countries, especially developing ones, in domestic policies, capacity building and economic structure,” the Chinese leader said, noting the “legitimate needs of developing countries to reduce poverty and improve their peoples’ living standards should not be denied when the issue of climate change is being addressed”.

In the 2009 Copenhagen conference, it was agreed that poorer nations vulnerable to global warming impacts would receive $100 billion per year by 2020 to give up fossil fuels and shore up defenses against climate-driven food scarcity, heat waves and storm damage.

Xi urged developed countries to honour this commitment.

“Developed countries should honor their commitment, mobilizing $100 billion each year before 2020, and provide stronger financial support to developing countries afterwards,” said Xi.

“It is also important that climate-friendly technologies should be transferred to developing countries,” he added.

Xi said Beijing has the “resolve and confidence” to “walk the talk” on combating climate change.

The Chinese President vowed to adopt new policy measures to improve industrial mix, build low-carbon system, develop green building and low-carbon transportation and establish a nationwide carbon-emission trading market.

According to an action plan submitted to the UN Secretariat in June this year, China has pledged to cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to about 20 per cent and peak its carbon emissions by the same year.

“This requires strenuous efforts but we have confidence and resolve to fulfill our commitments,” Xi said.

These climate talks “should reject the narrow-minded mentality of zero-sum game”, said Xi, while reiterating the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.

The phrase refers to the calls by developing countries that say rich countries must do far more to cut emissions since they contributed the most to environment degradation since the Industrial Revolution.

Xi’s BRICS partner, Indian Prime Minister Modi also referred to “climate justice” stressing that the “Innovation Summit” in Paris “unites us behind a common purpose”.

“We have to ensure, in the spirit of climate justice, that the life of a few does not crowd out the opportunities for the many still on the initial steps of the development ladder. The advanced countries must leave enough room for developing countries to grow. And, we must strive for a lighter carbon footprint on our growth path,” the Indian Prime Minister said in his speech at the COP21 Summit.

The Paris meeting aims to produce a new international agreement to cut greenhouse gases beyond 2020 when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expires.

In September, China announced the establishment of a $3 billion China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to help developing countries cope with tradition to a low-carbon model of development.

In 2016, China will set up 10 pilot low-carbon industrial parks and start 100 mitigation and adaptation programs in other developing countries, and provide them with 1000 training opportunities on climate change, Xi announced during the Paris summit.

 

TBP and Agencies

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