Senior Chinese negotiator says Copenhagen Accord not to be third track of climate talks

10:21, April 11, 2010      

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The Copenhagen Accord should not act as "the third track" of climate talks and the urgent situation calls for all parties advance talks without delay in 2010.

That's according to Su Wei, head of the Chinese delegation to the Bonn meeting held from April 9 to 11.

Su told Xinhua on Friday that he expected that the ministerial-level U.N. conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico in December could achieve "three interdependent targets," as the 2009 Copenhagen summit failed to fulfill the task assigned by the Bali Roadmap.

"The first is to confirm quantified post-2012 emission-cut targets for the developed countries bound by the Kyoto Protocol," he said, "The second, the developed countries which haven't endorsed the Protocol should determine comparable emission-cut goals under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)."

"Last but not least, developed countries should provide practical support to developing countries on climate funds and technology transfer," Su said.

The Copenhagen Accord, which was put forward at the last minute after marathon talks in late 2009, reaffirmed the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" for developed and developing nations.

It also upheld the dual-track negotiating mechanism of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and reached important political consensus on several key issues, such as climate financing, long-term objectives and transparency of mitigation measures, Su told Xinhua.

"One of the prior tasks at present is that the political consensus achieved in Copenhagen should be reflected in the negotiating texts of the two working groups, so as to push the negotiations forward in 2010," he said.

The two working groups, both under U.N. framework, are named as the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).

Su also said that the Copenhagen Accord was an important political declaration on climate talks, but the deal itself could not substitute for the dual-track mechanism set by the Bali Roadmap in late 2007.

"The accord cannot be the third track, and all parties should continue the negotiating process under the existing dual-track mechanism, and focus on pending issues left by Copenhagen summit," he said.

Su called for more climate meetings this year for both working groups, so that all parties could have plenty of time to "fully exchange their concerns and positions."

"Developing countries, such as African nations, are the most vulnerable to global warming and in need of financial and technological support from developed countries when facing climate challenges," he said.

"The current process has lagged behind the schedule set by the Bali Roadmap, urging us to accelerate the negotiating process to prevent further damages," he added.

"Affected by internal economic crisis, some developed countries tend to strides back in climate issues, as the public's environmental enthusiasm diminished," Su warned. "Some rich nations emphasized their economic recovery while weakening efforts on climate aid and technological assistance for developing countries."

"This backward gesture of rich countries sent strong negative signals to the ongoing climate talks," Su said.

The Copenhagen Accord had pledged to offer 10 billion U.S. dollars per year to help poor countries combating climate change in the next three years, known as "the fast-track approach" and to boost the aid to 100 billion dollars annually by 2020.

"The amount of the money was apparently inadequate, compared with the tough mission of fighting climate change, but it was still far better than none," he said. "What we hope is that these promises can be converted into real actions, to fulfill the urgent demands of some poor countries on tackling climate change."

He also noted that the United States, the main emitter and player in climate talks, remains "uncertain" on its actions of emission cutting, as the country's carbon-capping bill seemed stalled in the Senate.

"The international community expects the United States, the leading economy in the world, to make positive contributions on emission reduction and long-term climate financing mechanisms, which would weigh a lot for promoting the U.N. climate negotiations," he said.

As for China, Su said his country would continue to play an active and constructive role, demonstrate utmost sincerity and make its best effort for reaching a widely accepted framework on combating climate change.

The United Nations held a new session of formal climate change negotiation in the German city of Bonn from April 9 to 11, the first round this year, aimed at drawing up a calendar on climate talks for the whole 2010.

Another session of U.N. climate talks will also take place in Bonn, headquarters of U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, from May 31 to June 11.



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