China and the Cancun climate change conference
With the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun drawing near, all parties are preparing actively for the next round of negotiations.
China hopes to see the negotiations complete in line with the 2007 Bali Road Map, based on existing legal foundations and the negotiating mechanisms established by the Ad Hoc Working Group.
Firstly, developed countries should set emission reduction goals for the second period of the Kyoto Protocol through negotiations conducted by the working group of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first period defined by the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. As time is limited, negotiations on the second period will be the top priority for the working group.
The protocol negotiations are a vital precondition for the success of other negotiations and will serve as an example for non-contracted developed countries to refer to. Reaching a common understanding on emissions reductions during the second period will lay a solid foundation for future negotiations.
Secondly, the working group should resolve problems of climate change mitigation, adaptation, financial support and technology transfer. The negotiations should focus on the Bali Action Plan, which charts the course for a new negotiating process designed to tackle climate change, and should confirm the developed contracting parties' emissions reduction goals, scope, properties and compliance levels. The working group should also set up a mechanism for developed countries to fulfill their promises to provide funding, technology and capacity training to developing countries.
In particular, the working group should draw up a scheme for developed countries to arrange the "fast start" financing of US$30 billion committed in the Copenhagen Accord for enhanced action on mitigation, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), adaptation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building over the 2010-2012 period. This will be a key factor in building trust between developed and developing countries.
To achieve the above tasks will not be easy. There will be many difficulties to overcome during the process. Developed countries have put forward emissions reduction goals which do not match the proposals put forward by developing countries. Their suggestions on adaptation, finance and technology transfer do not meet developing countries' expectations either. Moreover, their proposal to abandon the Kyoto Protocol runs counter to the thinking of developing countries. But although the negotiations over the protocol are challenging, international collaboration to tackle climate change is an unquestionable necessity. China will play an active and constructive role together with other countries to achieve the goals set out in the Bali Road Map.
About the author:
Su Wei, director of the Climate Change Division of the National Development and Reform Commission, was deputy head and chief negotiating officer of China's delegation to the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
(This article was translated by Ren Zhongxi.)