China seen as essential ally in global warming battle
For China Daily
Most countries, including China, have put forward proposals to do their bit in tackling climate change.
China has emerged as a driving force for a possible deal in Paris. It will arrive at the talks as the world’s biggest market for renewable energy, with 433 gigawatts of generating capacity at the end of last year, more than double second-placed United States.
It is also on course to meet its goal to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 17 percent by the end of the year from 2010 levels, and to derive 11.4 percent of its energy from nonfossil fuels.
China has, also, promised to cut carbon intensity by 60 to 65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, when it also expects a peak in its carbon emissions.
Jo Leinen, a German Socialist member of the European Parliament, who heads the parliament’s delegation in China, said the summit, which he plans to attend, offers a great opportunity to decarbonise the world.
China has an important role in the summit, he said. The country’s decision to reach a peak in its emissions no later than 2030, and its readiness to take part in a five-year review process of the voluntary national emissions reduction targets, are a clear message to the world, Leinen said.
“Investments in carbonfriendly technologies can help to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economies.”
He urges Beijing participants in Paris to be “ambitious and decisive” at the summit.
“If in Paris the biggest emitters — the United States and China — turn up with ambitious goals and objectives, I expect Europe to step up its efforts.”
The US and China had until recently “been blocking the way”, he said, but now it seems they take climate change more seriously.
formerly chaired the assembly’s committee on environment, said: “We in Europe would like to see China hit the high point of its CO2 emissions earlier than 15 years from now, as we are aware that the announced peak year of 2030 represents a conservative estimate.”
But a number of issues are still to be resolved, such as the financing of global climate protection and commitments by individual states.
Leinen said finding the funding is one of the main challenges.
A lot more trust is needed if plans for financing global climate protection after 2020 are to be established, and he sees financial commitments as crucial in the developing countries’ readiness to accept a compromise.
“China will be a decisive partner in finding a solution that respects the common but differentiated responsibility for climate protection, and that includes in the end all countries with their individual contributions to the common good, which is the atmosphere surrounding the Earth.”
Priorities include limiting the rise in global warming to 2 C, speeding up the availability of funds to finance climate mitigation, committing to stop deforestation and degradation, and establishing technological mechanisms.
“I appreciate the decision of the Chinese government to introduce an emissions trading system by 2017,” Leinen said.
“Carbon has to get a price tag, and trading carbon certificates could help to give environmentally friendly investments a clear direction.”
China will be a decisive partner in finding a solution that respects the common but differentiated responsibility for climate protection.”
head of the European Parliament’s delegation in China