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Xi says will support French efforts in reaching climate agreement
November 30, 2015, 6:10 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Francois Hollande in Paris on 29 November 2015 [Image: Élysé]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Francois Hollande in Paris on 29 November 2015 [Image: Élysé]

In a meeting in Paris late on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Francois Hollande vowed to work together to make the conference a success.

China has reiterated the long-standing demand of developing countries that the outcome of the conference should reflect the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and be conducive to the creation of a global mechanism to address climate change beyond 2020, said Xi.

Some 150 world leaders have arrived in Paris to “lend political impetus” to the 21st “Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” starting on Monday.

Chinese President Xi has lauded French efforts in preparing for the conference.

Earlier this month, Xi and Hollande said the two countries had taken an “historic” step towards tackling climate change when China and France agreed any deal reached in Paris should include checks on whether signatories are keeping their commitments to reduce emissions.

A joint statement by the two sides vowed to promote a working program to accelerate pre-2020 efforts in mitigation, adaptation and support during the Paris summit.

“We will make every minute and second count,” said China’s chief negotiator Su Wei ahead of the crucial summit.

On Sunday, the Chinese President said he hopes to show the international community “China’s firm support for France in its efforts to host a successful conference and for the reaching of an international agreement applicable to all parties”.

The Paris conference runs from 30 November until 11 December.

Major disputes range from differentiation of responsibilities of cutting emissions among countries to how developed countries would meet their promise of providing $100 billion by 2020 to support actions of developing countries.

In 2012, only $17 billion were provided by developed countries from public funds, according to an estimate of World Resources Institute.

“China will continue to address the issue with a positive and serious attitude,” China’s chief negotiator Su told Xinhua, “however, our position on insisting principles of common but differentiated responsibility will not change.”

Chinese President Xi will deliver a speech on Monday at the opening ceremony of the Paris Summit.

The highly-anticipated meeting aims to yield a new international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases beyond 2020, when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expires.

Hollande told Xi on Sunday that the joint statement issued earlier in Beijing has laid an important foundation for making the conference a success and that France will coordinate with China to make the conference a success.

There is an urgency to the Paris conferences because previous such meetings have failed to achieve global consensus – and time is running out.

The United Nations has warned that global temperatures will rise by at least 2 degrees Celsius within the next 80 years.

This will have a devastating effect on the way of life for billions of people around the world because even a 1.5 Celsius rise is likely to wipe out many ecosystems and hundreds of inhabited islands.

Meanwhile, Japan, Poland and Philippines may not like what the COP21 may demand of them, writes Firas  Al-Atraqchi.

Earlier this year, a G7 environment meeting failed to reach consensus on ways to end subsidies given to coal exports when Japan said it need more time.

India’s climate-change policy statement also said coal would continue to dominate power generation for development.

“It is estimated that more than half of India of 2030 is yet to be built,” it argued.

While China had said it would peak emissions by 2030, India has not made any such commitments. Neither has the country mentioned establishing carbon trading.

China, in June this year, made fresh pledges on fighting climate change, while reiterating its earlier position that developed countries need to take the lead in cutting emissions to address climate change leading into global talks later this year in Paris.
Beijing has set out ambitious targets beyond 2020 in what it calls its “utmost efforts” in tackling the global challenge.

The world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60-65 per cent from the 2005 level by 2030, according to China’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC), an action plan submitted to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Hollande said he hoped the Paris talks would produce “a global and ambitious agreement that will allow global warming to be limited to two degrees”.

Xi and Hollande also discussed bilateral ties and major projects and to “deepen cooperation in the fields of investment, economy and trade and nuclear energy”, said Chinese agency Xinhua.



TBP and Agencies

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