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UPDATED: December 1, 2014 NO. 49 DECEMBER 4, 2014
The World's Responsibility

From December 1-12, Peru's capital Lima plays host to the 2014 UN Climate Change Conference. The conference takes place juxtaposed with a series of side events on climate issues hosted by the Chinese delegation. During these events, China tries to demonstrate the efforts the government, business and academic communities, non-governmental organizations and Chinese youth have made in combating the detrimental effects of climate change.

Though Chinese economic growth has slowed in the past two years, the Chinese Government has not relaxed its efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

While promoting carbon emission reduction domestically, China has helped advance international efforts to cope with climate change. On November 12, China and the United States issued a joint statement on collaboratively dealing with climate change. Also, according to official statistics, China has contributed a total of about 270 million yuan ($44 million) to help other developing countries combat climate change since 2011. At the UN Climate Summit on September 23 this year, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli announced that China would set up a South-South cooperation fund on climate change.

China has become a big emitter of greenhouse gases only in the last three decades due to its rapid industrial growth. The climate peril the human race faces right now is not simply an outcome of the industrial growth of developing countries. Instead, the menace has been constantly building up since the onset of industrialization—a process that has lasted for more than two centuries.

At present, international negotiations for combating global climate change remain a difficult task. The principal problem is still the burden shared in coping with climate change. Though the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has recognized the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," developed and developing countries still have differences of opinion on how to allocate obligations.

Tackling climate change is mankind's issue; thus, it requires all parties to show a just and responsible attitude. First-world countries have achieved development with free emission space during their industrial processes. Developing countries also need such space for development. Therefore, developed countries should take the lead in assuming emission reduction obligations and provide developing countries with financial and technological support. In the meantime, developing countries are expected to promote sustainable development with concrete and active measures.

Only in the spirit of fairness and shared responsibility can the international community create a viable solution to global climate change.

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