China ups pressure, says differentiation critical to COP21’s success

Xi COP21

PARIS: Amid the ongoing tussle between developed and developing countries at the global climate success, China, the world’s second largest emitter, has upped the pressure, and underscored the core principle of differentiation as central to the success of he COP 21, also the central plank of India in intensely contested negotiations.   

Climate change is a common challenge to human beings and the world must work together to cope,” China’s President Xi Jinping said in Paris. He, however, expressed optimism that an agreement on an international mechanism to address climate change after 2020 will emerge at the end of the Paris summit.

To promote   constructive negotiations with all parties involved, Mr Xi stressed that Beijing  will  follow the principles of “common but with different responsibilities,” fairness and  respective capabilities of developed and developing countries.

Elaborating on the agreement, Mr Xi said it should be based on the “UN Framework Convention on Climate Change” and the “Kyoto Protocol”, and should be in full compliance with the framework of the “Convention”. He added that differences of historical responsibilities and    national conditions between     developed and developing countries should be respected, a point repeatedly emphasized by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speeches at COP 21.
Insisting on a balanced agreement, Mr Jinping said it should encompass various elements including   alleviation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency to ensure comprehensive implementation of the “Convention” after 2020.

China’s economic development continues to be unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable  to a certain extent, which makes it vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Underlining Beijing’s intent to build a community of common destiny for sustainable development, Mr Xi said China has outlined a “National Plan on Addressing Climate Change (2014-    2020).”

China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions specify that Chinese carbon  emissions would reach its peak at around 2030. China  has issued joint statements on climate  change with the United States, the EU, United Kingdom, India and Brazil to establish the    “Climate Change Fund for South-South Cooperation.” It has won praise from the international community for the same.

The Chinese leader added that the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has advocated a more sustainable and balanced development of  “innovation, coordination, green, open, and sharing.”

“The Paris agreement should endorse global climate governance by “top  down” mandatory emissions reductions mode via a “bottom-up” self-reduction mode,” according to China’s proposal.

Global warming and the emissions gap are still very wide, with contradictions prevailing between developed and developing countries and there’s a long way to go, Mr Jinping asserted.

“Climate change is a global challenge at which no country can stand on its own. Only if the international community strengthen cooperation and take resolute action, can we win this tough battle,” Mr Jinping said. Asking the developed countries to play a larger role, he stressed that   “China would assume its obligations, but developed countries must bear greater historical responsibilities for their emissions and honor financial commitments already pledged to support    developing countries.

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