China eyes Paris cli­mate pact

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LAN LAN in Lima, Peru lan­lan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The new global cli­mate agree­ment to be signed next year in Paris should (be legally bind­ing and) cover all el­e­ments, the deputy head of China’s del­e­ga­tion at the United Na­tions cli­mate talks in Lima said on Thurs­day.

Su Wei, China’s chief cli­mate ne­go­tia­tor, said China has an open mind on the fi­nal term used to de­fine the Paris agree­ment. Ei­ther it will be a “pro­to­col” or other form with a le­gal force, he said at the cli­mate change talks in Lima that started on Mon­day and con­clude Dec 12. “First we need to de­ter­mine the sub­stances and let the sub­stances to de­ter­mine the form,” said Su.

The adopted agree­ment should ad­dress all el­e­ments, in­clud­ing mit­i­ga­tion, adap­ta­tion, fi­nanc­ing, tech­nol­ogy trans­fer and trans­parency of ac­tion support, he said.

China fa­vors a 10-year com­mit­ment over a five-year pe­riod be­cause it will pro­vide more ac­count­abil­ity for the mar­ket to follow, he said, whereas a fiveyear pe­riod could mean too much time spent on ne­go­ti­a­tion.

“Those ac­tions will be very much fa­cil­i­tated by the role to be played by the mar­ket mech­a­nisms,” said Su, also di­rec­tor gen­eral of the cli­mate change depart­ment un­der the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

The con­fer­ence’s agenda calls for coun­tries to put for­ward con­tri­bu­tions to the 2015 agree­ment in the form of in­tended na­tion­ally de­ter­mined con­tri­bu­tions (INDCs) early next year.

China is pre­par­ing its INDC and plans to un­veil a pack­age of post-2020 ac­tions in the first half of 2015, but will try to put it for­ward at “an ear­lier date,” Su said.

Last month, in a joint an­nounce­ment Beijing said it would aim to peak its emis­sions around 2030, the first time it has set a max­i­mum year, and the United States said it would seek to re­duce emis­sions by 26 to 28 per­cent be­low 2005 lev­els by 2025.

Be­sides the goals an­nounced in the joint an­nounce­ment, Su said goals to markedly re­duce car­bon in­ten­sity and boost for­est con­ser­va­tion will be in­cluded in the pack­age.

The joint an­nounce­ment made by the two coun­tries does not nec­es­sar­ily blur the dis­tinc­tion be­tween de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, he said.

“It’s not an an­nounce­ment of joint ac­tions, not an an­nounce­ment of joint ob­jec­tives, it’s a joint an­nounce­ment of re­spec­tive en­hanced ac­tions for the pe­riod after 2020,” said Su, adding the sig­nif­i­cance of the joint an­nounce­ment was to in­ject mo­men­tum to the cli­mate talks.

Another key decision to be made in the Lima talks is the fi­nance is­sue. A to­tal of $9.7 bil­lion has been put on the ta­ble for the UN Green Cli­mate Fund (GCF), how­ever, that’s “far from ad­e­quate”, said Su. De­vel­oped coun­tries pledged to mo­bi­lize $100 bil­lion per year for sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by 2020.

“Ten bil­lion is only one-tenth of that ob­jec­tive and we don’t have a clear roadmap or pic­ture of meet­ing that tar­get,” said Su.

He said “it is not good news” if Aus­tralia re­fuses to pro­vide any money to the GCF.

Adap­ta­tion is another agenda item in the talks in Lima. “We want to put adap­ta­tion on the same foot­ing as mit­i­ga­tion. The im­pact of cli­mate change is not in the fu­ture, it’s hap­pen­ing now,” said Su.

The year 2014 is on track to be the warm­est year on record, a UN weather agency said on Wed­nes­day.

Su called for del­e­gates in Lima to speed up the ne­go­ti­a­tion process and start real ne­go­ti­a­tion, and he said it’s a gen­eral con­sen­sus among de­vel­op­ing coun­tries “to put text on the screens”.

Screen or no screen has be­come an is­sue hin­der­ing the cli­mate-change talks in Lima, said ob­servers.

In the past three days, many de­vel­op­ing coun­tries de­manded that the text of draft de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing mat­ters re­gard­ing the 2015 Paris agree­ment, be put on a screen and then coun­tries would change the text as they made their pro­pos­als.

But two co-chairs of the work­ing group ap­peared in­tent on con­tin­u­ing what they had done in the pre­vi­ous year and merely lis­ten to com­ments and pro­pos­als made by the par­ties and then pro­duce new ver­sions of the draft-decision text.

“This was con­sid­ered to be not a party-driven but a chair-driven process by many of the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries,” said a state­ment of The Third World Net­work, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion

China said the ap­proach for the past year has not been one of real ne­go­ti­a­tions and added that it was con­cerned by the co-chair’s pro­posal that the “sec­re­tariat takes notes” of the pro­pos­als by par­ties and “take it back home to cook in your kitchen”, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials of Ox­fam, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, which is tak­ing notes at the talks.

Jiang Jiemin,

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