Kyoto Protocol remains sticking point : China takes flexible attitude. China Daily reports | http://twitter.com/#!/LearnFromNature
China’s top climate negotiator said he is upbeat aboutthe possibility of progress as talks enter a second week, despite differencesamong countries on issues such as the extension of the Kyoto Protocol and thecreation of a Green Climate Fund.
“These are two major talking points for negotiators here in Durban,” said XieZhenhua, deputy minister of the National Development and Reform Commission. “However, this week we need to settle on how nations can take concrete actionbefore 2020.”
The Kyoto Protocol is the only international climate treaty that bindsindustrialized countries to targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first commitmentperiod expires next year.
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said she has seen positive signs, as countries”begin to understand where a common ground could be found”.
“The discussion is no longer whether we will have a second commitment period, but rather howgovernments would like to conform to that,” she said.
A negotiation draft with more than 130 pages was readied at the weekend for arriving heads ofstate and ministers to narrow down options over the coming week.
Developing nations have insisted that the extension of the Kyoto Protocol is a cornerstone for thewhole climate regime.
However, Japan, Canada and Russia have said they will not renew emissions-reduction pledgesunder the protocol, while the European Union wants to start negotiations for a new climate deal thatbinds all countries.
The United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol and said it will not do so unless China and Indiaalso agree to a new treaty.
China showed flexibility during the first week of negotiations by saying it is open to talks about theEU’s new condition, as well as offering the possibility to limit carbon emissions after 2020, a movewelcomed by analysts and observers.
“China will continue to play a constructive role and adopt an open attitude in talking with othercountries, and we’re confident progress can be made,” Xie told journalists on Sunday before theformal launch of China Pavilion, a series of events and workshops to showcase the country’sefforts to fight climate change.
Feng Shaofeng, an actor who is also the ambassador of a green commuting campaign, offered hissupport to adopting a low-carbon lifestyle in China. His message echoed Xie’s statement that China”will maximize its efforts to fight climate change and shoulder due responsibilities in line with itsdevelopment stage”.
“Domestically, we’re studying what our mitigation efforts should look like after 2020,” Xie said,adding that negotiations for the post-2020 targets should be based on the results of a review to bepublished in 2015.
The review should look at how industrialized countries’ pledges under the Kyoto Protocol wereaccomplished and include an update of the climate science, he said.
China’s stance is supported by three other emerging economies: Brazil, India and South Africa,which are also in the process of industrialization and have contributed little to historical greenhousegas emissions.
Studies by leading climate experts from the four countries found that developing countries shouldhave both equitable access to sustainable development and a period of time for them to lift peopleout of poverty.
The industrialized countries that ratified the Kyoto Protocol contributed to 90 percent of the globaltemperature rise between 1850 and 1990 because of their carbon emissions, according to aBrazilian study.
It states that these countries already have huge deficits in their carbon budgets.
“Our study shows that developed countries have far exceeded their fair share in carbon(emissions),” Girish Sant, an energy and environment researcher in India, told China Daily.
Zhang Yongsheng, a senior research fellow at the Development Research Center of the StateCouncil, said carbon equity is key to addressing the issue of global warming.
“Our studies are not designed for the interests of any particular country, but for the global carbonequity,” he said, adding that his study concluded that China’s carbon budget is “obviouslyinsufficient”.
Source : China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/05/content_14211028.htm