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Emissions cut target may hurt developing countries' development: Chinese expert
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10:41, September 12, 2009

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The emissions cut target proposed by developed countries is "unfair" to developing countries, a Chinese expert said Friday.

Pan Jiahua, executive director of the research centre for sustainable development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, made the statement in an interview with Xinhua at the Global Economic Symposium (GES 2009) held in Ploen Castle, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Developed countries have proposed that the world should cut CO2emissions by 50 percent by 2050, with industrialized countries reducing their emissions by 80 percent.

"An 80 percent emissions cut sounds good, when you first hear it. It shows a high profile by developed countries in dealing with climate change", said Pan. However, if developing countries accepted this target, there would be "nearly no space" left for further development in these countries.

"At present, the annual per capita CO2 emission of developed countries is 15 tons. By 2050, if 80 percent were cut, the figure will be lowered to 3 tons," Pan said. "The current annual per capita CO2 emissions of developing countries does not reach 3 tons."

"Developing countries have to cut emissions by at least 20 percent from the current level to 2.5 tons to reach the proposed target of a 50 percent decrease worldwide. That means, by 2050, the annual per capita CO2 emissions of developing countries will still be lower than developed countries."

However, at present, most of developing countries were still undergoing industrialization and urbanization and more infrustructure construction was needed, which meant they had to increase CO2 emissions to keep their development at this stage, Pan said.

Developed countries had already passed that period and they could keep regular development with a lower CO2 emission, Pan added.

So they should take more responsibility in this respect, said Pan, noting that the proposal would seriously damage the development of developing countries.

GES was first held in Ploen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 2008. It aims to identify global challenges, examine their policy and business implications, and formulate concrete actions in response.

GES 2009 attracted 351 politicians and experts from all over the world with its main topics including world financial regulation, climate change and global trade.

Source: Xinhua

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