China defends growth principle at climate talks

As the UN climate conference moved into its second and final week in Cancun, Mexico, China said it would not compromise on issues of principle. Su Wei, the chief Chinese negotiator told the state-run Xinhua news agency, "I think we can cooperate with other parties and even make compromises on some non-principle issues, but we will not compromise on the issues of principle, such as the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the basis for a package of agreements to be made in Cancun."  


The 1992 Kyoto Protocol requires the developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while leaving the developing countries (like China) free to pursue economic growth without any Green restrictions. The United States has not ratified Kyoto because of the asymmetrical nature of the mandates, what in UN terminology are called "common but differentiated responsibilities."


It is worth noting that while other countries have sent officials to Cancun from their environmental agencies, Su Wei works for the National Development and Reform Commission. The NDRC runs China's five year plans and industrial policies to promote economic growth. Its deputy director will arrive later this week to take over as head of the Chinese delegation.


As recent commentary in the Communist Party newspaper Global Times argued,

 

Due to the increasing demand and the constraints of its energy supply structure, China's greenhouse gas emissions probably will not peak until 2035. Over the next 30 years or so, China will be under enormous pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Its national conditions have made it fundamentally impossible for China to take action in accordance with the low-carbon standards of the Western  countries. China can only try its best to take independent action from its own national situation.


It is China's national interests to protect its right to develop. It is unnecessary to talk about low carbon if there is no development or if its development is slowed down.

 

India, the other major leader among the developing states, seems to be leaning towards abandoning the two-track Kyoto system in favor of the terms of the "unofficial" Copenhagen Accord reached last year which imposes no mandates on any country, developed or developing. All nations are simply to report to the UN what they are doing, but each determines what to do on their own. China, however, is not satisfied with maintaining its own freedom to grow, but wants restrictions and sanctions placed on its rivals in the developed world, particularly on the United States.

With 9.8 percent unemployment and hemorrhaging fiscal budgets due to slow growth, the U.S. must also protect its "right to develop" and reject any Cancun outcome that would interfere with economic recovery. The principle of sovereignty is valid for all.

As the UN climate conference moved into its second and final week in Cancun, Mexico, China said it would not compromise on issues of principle. Su Wei, the chief Chinese negotiator told the state-run Xinhua news agency, "I think we can cooperate with other parties and even make compromises on some non-principle issues, but we will not compromise on the issues of principle, such as the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the basis for a package of agreements to be made in Cancun."  


The 1992 Kyoto Protocol requires the developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while leaving the developing countries (like China) free to pursue economic growth without any Green restrictions. The United States has not ratified Kyoto because of the asymmetrical nature of the mandates, what in UN terminology are called "common but differentiated responsibilities."


It is worth noting that while other countries have sent officials to Cancun from their environmental agencies, Su Wei works for the National Development and Reform Commission. The NDRC runs China's five year plans and industrial policies to promote economic growth. Its deputy director will arrive later this week to take over as head of the Chinese delegation.


As recent commentary in the Communist Party newspaper Global Times argued,

 

Due to the increasing demand and the constraints of its energy supply structure, China's greenhouse gas emissions probably will not peak until 2035. Over the next 30 years or so, China will be under enormous pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Its national conditions have made it fundamentally impossible for China to take action in accordance with the low-carbon standards of the Western  countries. China can only try its best to take independent action from its own national situation.


It is China's national interests to protect its right to develop. It is unnecessary to talk about low carbon if there is no development or if its development is slowed down.

 

India, the other major leader among the developing states, seems to be leaning towards abandoning the two-track Kyoto system in favor of the terms of the "unofficial" Copenhagen Accord reached last year which imposes no mandates on any country, developed or developing. All nations are simply to report to the UN what they are doing, but each determines what to do on their own. China, however, is not satisfied with maintaining its own freedom to grow, but wants restrictions and sanctions placed on its rivals in the developed world, particularly on the United States.

With 9.8 percent unemployment and hemorrhaging fiscal budgets due to slow growth, the U.S. must also protect its "right to develop" and reject any Cancun outcome that would interfere with economic recovery. The principle of sovereignty is valid for all.

RECENT VIDEOS