China Urges Developed Nations to Shoulder Emissions Cuts

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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China is calling on developed nations to shoulder the responsibility of substantially reducing carbon emissions as it pledges to work with the international community to ensure the success of a major climate conference beginning next week.

In a report released Tuesday, China said developed nations should be accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions during the past 200 years, and that developing nations lack the resources to take the same steps to address climate change.

It says advanced countries should share technology and funding, while developing nations should pursue balanced strategies that take into account both the environment and the economic challenges they face.

The Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Xie Zenhua, says the current economic situation hinders efforts to address climate change, but environmental issues should return to being a priority in the coming years.

He said the task of addressing climate change is a long-term one.

Delegates from 193 countries will meet next week in Durban, South Africa, to try to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Those efforts have been on hold since the failure of a climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

The report released Tuesday also details what China is doing to combat climate change, including steps to promote low-carbon development, control energy use, and increase the amount of energy produced without fossil fuels.

Xie says China recognizes that it is now the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

He said the country understands it must act to reduce its emissions.

China's climate report says that by 2015, it plans to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent compared to its 2010 levels.