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UPDATED: August 27, 2010 Web Exclusive
Expert: The 'Emissions Power' Is a Myth

Second, China has taken the lead in developing renewable energy. It has maintained faster development in wind power, solar power and biological energy than most developed countries. It boasts the largest installed hydropower capacity in the world and is vigorously working to develop its nuclear power industry in a bid to cut down greenhouse gas emissions.

Third, China's forest coverage rate has climbed from 12.7 percent to more than 20 percent through three decades of energetic efforts in afforestation.

Fourth, China has also adopted population and poverty alleviation policies that helped it makesignificant contributions to reducing CO2 emissions.

China will make good on its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 2020, although its objective of a 45-percent decrease is awe-inspiring to the developed world. It has drafted specific implementation schemes in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2010-15).

"China is stepping up the transformation of its growth mode into a low-carbon one," Pan said. "But this cannot be realized overnight."

A Responsible Participant

During the Copenhagen Climate Conference held last year, China played a positive and constructive role. But some blamed it for making trouble at the conference and even slandered it as the biggest barrier to the global fight against climate change.

"Obviously, this confused right and wrong. It was some developed countries that hindered the progress of the Copenhagen conference," Pan said. Global warming is unlikely to be contained within 2 degrees Celsius based on developed countries' emissions reduction targets. Developed nations are requiring developing nations to bear more than their due responsibilities, while minimizing their own emissions reduction by using lower bases. At the conference, they did not observe their obligations to provide developing nations with financial and technological support for tackling climate change. All of this runs counter to the Bali Road Map.

The misunderstandings about China's stance on the climate issue resulted from the objection by China and other developing nations to writing certain stipulations into the Copenhagen Climate Agreement. The stipulations stated "global greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced 50 percent by 2050--developed countries by 80 percent while developing countries by 20 percent."

Developing countries, including China, opposed these stipulations since they have to fight for their right to development. As a matter of fact, the per-capita annual CO2 emissions of developed countries are 15 tons while those of developing countries are only 2.5 tons. If the stipulated objective were attained, people in developed nations would still each enjoy 3 tons of annual CO2 emissions, compared to 2 tons each for people in developing countries. This is equivalent to depriving developing nations of their lawful right to CO2 emissions, or right to development.

At the Copenhagen conference, China acted as a positive and responsible participant. China, together with other developing nations, adhered to the Bali Road Map and maintained the direction and progress of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, it announced its demanding emissions reduction target without additional conditions, a deed that strongly pushed forward the negotiation process. China also displayed considerable flexibility in dealing with relevant issues, facilitating the formation of the Copenhagen Climate Agreement.

Developing countries, including China, are actually victims of global climate change. They will be active and positive players in future negotiations on this issue, that is for sure.



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