Expert: Nation is on track for carbon target

2017/11/15 9:20:39 中国日报
A wind farm at Rudong in Jiangsu province. [Photo by Xu Congjun / for China Daily]

China is on track to uphold commitments under the Paris climate accord, but some developed countries need to show their sincerity to push the ongoing dialogue forward, according to China's top climate envoy.

"We are capable of achieving more than what we pledged in the Paris Agreement," said Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change. "The thing is, the Paris Agreement cannot be fulfilled without efforts from everyone within."

Nearly 200 economies agreed in Paris in December 2015 to curb carbon dioxide emissions, with the aim of limiting the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, compared with preindustrial levels.

Xie said China is likely to peak its carbon emissions ahead of the scheduled date of 2030 and will launch the national carbon trade market soon after receiving approval from the central government.

The preparation for opening of the market has entered the final phase, he said.

He said there is no need to negotiate anymore on raising China's pledges during this year's climate talks, as "all has been settled in the pact".

"The key is to solve disputes across different allies," he said.

Negotiators from nearly 200 parties gathered in Bonn, Germany, to hammer out details for implementing the Paris climate accord.

Major disputes have arisen between developed and developing countries as the talks entered the second week.

The two remain at loggerheads on key issues such as climate financing and pre-2020 actions, according to Xie.

Developed nations pledged to provide $100 billion to help poorer countries tackle climate change, but the widening financing gap due to the US withdrawal has yet to be filled by other developed nations.

Some developed nations refuse to put more efforts on cutting carbon emissions in the coming years, as there are no binding targets set in the Paris Agreement before 2020.

"There is no time for climate laggards," Xie said. "We need to put things onto the table and sincerely work to solve them."

Top climate officials from China, the European Union and Canada, representing three different blocs, held a conference on the sideline of the climate talks on Monday, but no formal results were released after the meeting was delayed for more than an hour.

EU commissioner on climate Miguel Arias Canete said he expected more results in the coming days as talks at the political level get underway. Chai Qimin, director of the international cooperation department of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said developed nations should come out with concrete steps for pre-2020 actions as soon as possible during the conference, as few want to leave progress until the last minute.

"Without continued financial support from developed nations, poor nations will be exposed under severe climate risks," said Guo Hongyu, a senior researcher at the NGO Greenovation Hub. "We will face more difficulties in the post-2020 period if problems during 2020 are not addressed."