China wants a piece of polluters’ GDP
THE US rejected a Chinese proposal that developed countries should contribute a percentage of their gross domestic product to mitigate the effects of climate change.
China, the world’s second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, called for developed nations to provide financial support of 0.5 per cent of their GDP a year to help it and other developing nations fight global warming.
Asked whether China’s proposal is reasonable, Harlan Watson, the US climate-change negotiator, said, ‘‘ No’’. In an interview in Bangkok, Watson described the proposal as an ‘‘ interesting suggestion’’. ‘‘ I am sure we will have a discussion on that,’’ he said.
Watson and more than 160 other delegates around the world are meeting in Thailand’s capital this week to develop a framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
The treaty, crafted in the Japanese city in 1997, requires developed nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming in the five years through 2012. The US hasn’t ratified the accord, saying fastgrowing developing nations including China should also curb emissions.
The proposal by China was among 26 submissions published this month on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as part of ongoing negotiations to write a new international climate-protection agreement.
The European Union and the US caused the build-up of the world’s emissions, accounting for more than half of cumulative emissions from 1900 to 2005, while China and India contributed 8 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in November.
The US is the biggest emitter, according to the latest IEA figures. The sum sought by China would amount to $650 billion a year from the US, according to Bloomberg data.
The US is seeking to accelerate efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, Watson said. ‘‘ We believe that views we are pushing forward here will be very compatible with our next administration,’’ Watson said. ‘‘ We see our legacy as setting the stage for the next agreement.’’ US presidential elections will be held in November.
The effect of a possible US recession on the nation’s contribution to combating climate change was ‘‘ one of the big concerns,’’ he said. Bloomberg
In search of a framework: Yvo de Boer of the United Nations speaks at the climate change conference in Bangkok