News / Asia

China Says Funding Key in Climate Change Talks

Smoke rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant as a worker stands on a crane at a shipyard in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2013. Smoke rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant as a worker stands on a crane at a shipyard in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2013.
x
Smoke rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant as a worker stands on a crane at a shipyard in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2013.
Smoke rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant as a worker stands on a crane at a shipyard in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2013.
William Ide
China said it is willing to take a flexible approach at global climate change talks scheduled for later this month in Poland. In the talks, representatives from 190 countries will seek to forge a new global climate change deal that will take effect in 2020. But China also said richer nations need to do more to help developing countries cut emissions.

China’s top climate change official, Xie Zhenhua, said that when the country attends the climate change talks, which begin in Warsaw next week, it will be willing to be flexible as long as the talks are fair and recognize that developing and developed countries have common, but different responsibilities.

Xie also urged richer nations to help developing countries cut their emissions, as they pledged in 2009.

"We hope developed countries can keep their commitments and the treaty they have agreed to launch fast-start funds. We hope they can implement the $30 billion fast-start fund by 2015 and provide a long-term fund of $100 billion per year and put forward specific time tables and roadmaps to help the developing countries cope with climate change," stated Xie.

Xie is also the vice director of China’s top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission. He was speaking at a press conference in Beijing Tuesday.

Xie’s remark echoes comments made by U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern last month. Stern said a more flexible approach was needed to create a pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. He also said that individual nations should be able to set their own timetables and commitments for reducing carbon emissions.

Environmentalists in Beijing say flexibility does not mean that China will change its overall position - that developed nations need to carry the brunt of the responsibility - but it does mean that Beijing is looking to forge consensus and consider the positions of all of the parties involved to try and find areas where their interests dovetail with other countries.

“So by saying that they will take a more flexible approach here does not mean that China’s position will change. It means that way they will be more agile in the way they deal with issues,” said Yang Fuqiang, with the National Resources Defense Council in Beijing.

China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, which are blamed by scientists for causing global warming. As China has rapidly expanded over the past three decades to become the world's second largest economy, its environment has paid a punishing price.

The public has grown increasingly concerned about air pollution in particular and the costs the public and the environment have had to pay in exchange for development.

Both its status as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and internal problems are pushing China’s leaders to change.

“I think they clearly feel the pressure not only from the other countries but also internally. I think the air pollution episodes recently has been a very strong call for them to take action, not only to mitigate greenhouse gases, which has profound domestic implications, but for ordinary Chinese citizens on the street,” said Li Shuo, who focuses on climate change and energy for Greenpeace East Asia in Beijing.

But for China to change, it needs to take actions to reduce its reliance on coal as a source of energy. In recent weeks, the government has announced a wide range of plans to cut its dependence on the cheap energy source, boost its usage of nuclear plants and gas energy and tackle the county’s festering problem of air pollution.

It is also experimenting with carbon cap-and-trade programs across the country.

The Chinese government has set a goal of cutting its emissions per unit of the GDP to 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid