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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs