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Commentary: China-EU cooperation on climate change sets example for global green endeavors

(Xinhua)    07:39, June 30, 2015

BEIJING, June 30 -- China and the European Union (EU) issued a joint statement on climate change during their leaders' meeting on Monday.

The increasingly close cooperation between China and Europe on fighting climate change in the past decade has set a good example for global energy saving and emission reduction.

Firstly, the joint statement between China, the world's largest carbon emitter, and the EU, the world's largest bloc of developed countries, has gathered the political will and determination of both sides to deal with climate change.

Since China and the EU established partnership on climate change at the China-EU summit in Beijing in 2005, the two sides have made unremitting efforts to strengthen cooperation in this aspect.

In 2010, China and the EU set up a ministerial-level dialogue mechanism on climate change, under which they created a ministerial-level hotline to exchange views and share the latest developments on climate change.

The two parties have conducted institutional dialogues in such areas as environmental policy, forestry, energy, transportation and sustainable urbanization.

China and the EU have also cooperated in clean energy research and development. They co-developed the China-EU Near Zero Emission Coal project and founded the China-EU Clean Energy Center.

Secondly, the China-EU cooperation on climate change is a good example of cooperation between developing and developed countries to address the global issue.

China has promised to peak its carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and is striving to reach the peak at an even earlier date by increasing energy saving measures and cutting the level of CO2 per unit of gross domestic product (GDP).

The goal was set in a joint statement between China and the United States -- also a big carbon emitter -- after presidents of the two countries met in Beijing in 2014. According to the statement, the United States has set a target of reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025.

China will also unveil its long-awaited national contribution to combating climate change ahead of the United Nations climate talks to be held in Paris at the end of this year.

A special report recently published by the International Energy Agency showed Chinese carbon emissions registered in 2014 a drop of around 130 million metric tons, or 1.5 percent annually. It was the first time that the volume of Chinese carbon emissions declined since 1999, while its economy increased around 7 percent.

China, as a responsible major country, has also pledged to help other developing countries cope with climate change through cooperating with UN and multilateral financial institutions, establishing a South-South Cooperation Fund and enhancing professional training and exchanges.

Since 2011, China has accumulatively invested around 44 million U.S. dollars in South-South cooperation and provided assistance to other developing countries through low-carbon products, training and capacity building.

Last but not least, the China-EU joint statement on climate change issued on Monday has boosted confidence for a possible agreement at the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris.

Governments of more and more countries have realized that combating climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity, is in their own interests and groups such as enterprises, citizens and non-governmental organizations have also taken action.

The joint statement on climate change is a clear demonstration of the commitment China and the EU have made to working together constructively for the common good. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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