China asks rich countries to do 'soul searching' (2)

09:14, December 11, 2009      

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The focus at the Copenhagen negotiations should be on how developed countries can fulfill their commitment on emissions reductions and provide technological and financial help, said Yang Fuqiang, director of global climate change solutions at WWF.

"Some Western media are hoping to see China in an uneasy position, as they believe that by putting the spotlight on China, the country would promise even further emissions reductions," Yang said. The WWF official said that China should actually be applauded for their emissions reduction commitment.

"Rich countries have failed to provide financing to poor and vulnerable countries. We believe it is not aid but their debt to poor countries in the amount of $200 billion," said Vibe Jensen, member of Act!onaid, which led a small campaign outside the COP15 conference center with a banner that read: "Rich countries pay your climate debt".

On small island countries

An unusual split within developing countries arose yesterday. Small island states and their supporters want a new legally binding protocol to run concurrently with the Kyoto Protocol, which they say does not do enough for countries most vulnerable to the consequences of global warming.

This contingency demands a new treaty to aim at a maximum global warming of 1.5C, rather than the current 2C. They also want greenhouse gas concentrations stabilized at 350 parts per million (ppm) rather than the 450ppm favored by developed countries and some major developing nations, such as China, India and Brazil.

Jotham Napat, head of the Vanuatu delegation, the most hurricane-prone country in the South Pacific, told China Daly that he wished to see the major developing countries cut more emissions.

"I hope we can come to a consensus in the coming eight days, but it seems to be very difficult," he said.

"China has consistently supported the concerns of vulnerable countries, island countries and least developed countries," Yu said.

He claimed China urged developed countries to make up for their past emissions not out of its own environmental concern but to enforce the UN framework convention.

Yang said it would take a long time to draft another climate document, citing how it took 7 to 9 years to draw up the Kyoto Protocol. "It will be a major distraction to our efforts in the current negotiations," he said.

Source: China Daily
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