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China pledges to achieve cuts to greenhouse gases

Updated: 2015-11-20 07:47
By Lan Lan (China Daily)

China pledges to achieve cuts to greenhouse gases

Smoke is discharged from chimneys at a plant in Huaibei city, East China's Anhui province, Aug 14, 2013. [Photo/IC]

China will ensure the fulfillment of its pledges for cutting greenhouse gas emissions that it submitted to the United Nations, regardless of the outcome of the Paris climate summit, China's climate officials said.

More than 80 world leaders will attend a summit in Paris to set a global framework to combat climate change, a summit that the French government said will go ahead as scheduled despite the latest terrorist attacks.

Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change issues, said China hoped that the Paris conference could be a "landmark" one and that delegates from more than 190 countries would reach an "ambitious, strong and legally binding" agreement, Xie said at a news conference on Thursday.

In late June, China officially submitted to the UN its intentions to achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

The targets were set on the basis of a two-year scientific verification and China will ensure the fulfillment of these targets no matter how difficult it will be, said Xie.

"To further improve the target will need more efforts. First, it needs innovation. So we want to establish an incentive mechanism to work together globally."

Financial and technological support from developed countries are very important measures for enhanced actions from developing countries, said Xie, adding that China will make efforts to reach its peak emissions earlier by improving energy efficiency and adjusting its energy structure.

China has dwarfed all other countries in the world in terms of clean energy installations. It accounts for 25 percent of the world's total installed capacity of renewable energy in the past five years. Its rapid development of wind and solar power has greatly reduced costs of renewable energies.

Su Wei, China's chief climate negotiator and director-general of climate change at the National Development and Reform Commission, said the significance of the Paris summit lies in whether it can successfully guide the world to switch to a sustainable, green and low-carbon pathway.

"Reaching consensus on goals for cutting emissions is important," Su said at the Global Climate Governance Seminar in Beijing on Thursday. "But what's more important is to provide a direction for the global sustainable development and make more people aware of the urgent challenge facing humanity and how to make adjustments accordingly."

Zou Ji, a professor at the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said the success of the Paris agreement will be judged on whether it will be an "equitable, effective and win-win one".

"Of course, we hope the Paris meeting will generate an outcome, and we will actively contribute to that, but for China, transition to a low-carbon economy and reaching its goals is a must. There is no Plan B," Zou said.

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