China asks rich countries to do 'soul searching'

09:13, December 11, 2009      

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China's climate ambassador cited a six-word Chinese idiom three times at a press conference Thursday to ask developed countries to honor their commitment to assist developing nations fight global warming.

Yan bi xin, xing bi guo: Promise must be kept (honored); actions must be resolute, Yu Xintai said.

Rich countries should abide by promises made a decade ago to cut emissions and provide green technology and financing to developing nations, he said.

Developed countries are required by 2000 to lower emissions to levels that existed in 1990, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"Almost a decade has passed, as we all know, and hardly any developed countries have fulfilled their commitment," he said.

He went as far as saying that developed nations should apologize for their lack of commitment.

"(Developed countries) should do some soul-searching," he said in English.

Developed countries should demonstrate enough political will to abide by the UN climate change framework and the Kyoto Protocol to push for substantive progress at Copenhagen, he said.

His comments came after Todd Stern, US special envoy for climate change, told a press conference yesterday morning that the US will pay into a climate fund, but not reparations.

"The United States accepts its historical role in greenhouse gas emissions, but it is wrong to talk about fault and debt," Stern said. "We want the strongest possible agreement in Copenhagen, but it cannot be a free round for China and the big developing countries."

Yu said Stern is steering focus away from the US' responsibilities and onto China. Yu said China has no intention of being the first candidate for financial aids.

"China has never thought about accepting aid and China has done a lot even without any aid," he said.

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