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COP17: China confirms its official position

22 November 2011
COP17: China confirms its official position

BEIJING: Today Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, distributed a White Paper on China’s climate change policies which confirmed the country’s official position for COP17 in Durban.

Xie Zhenhua shared the 2011 White Paper of China’s Policy and Actions in Responding to Climate Change at a press conference that he hosted today.

The White Paper outlines a confirmation of China’s official position for Durban COP17, which includes:

  • A second commitment period of the Kyoto is a must for the international process to continue the efforts to address climate change
  • China, like other developing countries expects some specific steps and plans worked out for the delivering of the commitments that industrial countries have made at Copenhagen and Cancun, including the financial support, technology support and transfer, among others
  • China has been making - and will continue to make - its own efforts domestically to tackle climate change challenges through restructuring of its economy and industry, improving energy efficiency, developing and deploying non-fossil fuel energy, greening its land, and educating the public to change their consumption behaviors
  • China will work with international community to consider what further commitments are needed on the basis of the upcoming 2015 scientific assessment results.

The White Paper also stated that the continued domestic commitments and efforts that China will make, do not depend on how the international process goes.

While making all kinds of policy targets domestically, Chinese government has also started to establish various mechanisms to ensure the enforcement and implementation of those targets, through the “responsibility system” (statistics, monitoring and review), supportive financing mechanism, R&D, key projects and products and consumers’ lifestyle.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group says: ‘Overall, there is not much new in the White Paper, but it is a good communication tool to have all this information together to present to the international community what China has been doing, and what China continues to commit to in China’s Clean Revolution. It is obvious that Durban won’t be an easy journey either, with a most critical disagreement around the future of the second commitment period of Kyoto. China (Basic 4) and other developing countries have restated their insistency on this leading up to Durban. But overall China is in a relatively more favorable situation compared to Copenhagen, in particular with its clear track record of domestic efforts and progress made so far, and more importantly the 12th Five-Year Plan’s green and low carbon growth strategy being adopted and implemented now domestically. As Minister Xie stated in the press conference, China has never got any financial and technological support from other industrialized countries, but has committed its efforts to achieve green and low carbon economic transformation, and will continue to do so.”

You can see Changhua Wu speaking on CCTV English Channel tonight at 8:00pm for more commentary.

Read the press release (in Chinese)

Further reading

For those interested in more analysis on the prospects for COP17, the following sources and are recommended.

Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, will also be writing news and analysis throughout COP17, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP17. 

Our international policy teams are also commenting on key regional positions in the lead-up to Durban; read about the US and India.

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