Climate meet stays on track
Chinese negotiators vowed not to waver despite doubts over US position after election of Trump
Top Chinese climate officials have pledged to negotiate the implementation of the historic United Nations Paris climate agreement based on a consensus at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference taking place in Morocco.
They also brushed aside concerns about Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump as the next US president — Trump has called climate change science a “hoax” and pledged to renegotiate last year’s landmark Paris accords.
“China will not change its stance on climate change while negotiating details on how to better implement the Paris pact during the twoweek conference,” said Gou Haibo, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation, on Wednesday, in response to questions about Trump.
The Marrakech meeting, from Nov 7 to 18, is meant to agree on how signatories to the Paris accords will carry out pledges to limit greenhouse gases.
Aquorum of nations ratified last year’s accord onNov 4, giving it the force of international law.
More than 80 Chinese negotiators entered discussions on the first day on more than 50 issues regarding the implementation of the Paris agreement, according to Gou.
“Although we are not sure whether the pendulum will change the US stance, China will not (change). We will only refine details of implementing the agreement without either changing nationally determined contributions or positions,” Gou said.
Nationally determined contributions state how each country would help control climate change and vary, depending in part on developmental level.
“China will continue to shoulder common but differentiated responsibilities,” Gou said.
China is well on its way to achieving its NDCs, according to Gou, in which the nation pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 percent below 2005 levels by the end of 2030. China also is striving to reach its emissions peak as soon as possible.
Lu Xinming, deputy director of the Department of Climate Change with the National Development and Reform Commission, said China is willing to forge ahead on collaboration with the United States on climate change. The US delegation declined to comment.
Kimberly Hill Knott, director of policy with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, an NGO, said she expects the talks would reach consensus on as many issues as possible to fend off uncertainties associated with the incoming US administration.
Huang Haoming, head of the China Association for NGO Cooperation, said that it is too early to worry. “There have been achievements made in the United States on low-carbon development, and between our two countries, we have established collaborative programs with the US,” he said.
“People should not be too worried at this point. I’m expecting positive results at the end of the climate talks.”