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Special Representative for Climate Change Negotiations of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Huang Huikang Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Journalists

On Nov. 19, 2010, Huang Huikang, special representative for climate change negotiations of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a briefing for Chinese and foreign journalists at the International Press Centre. At the briefing, he introduced China's positions and propositions in the process of international negotiations on climate change as well as China’s attendance of the UN climate change conference at Cancun, Mexico. He also answered questions related to the above topics. The briefing was attended by over 60 journalists from domestic and international media agencies such as Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Bloomberg, Kyodo News, Die Welt, Japan Broadcasting Association, the Hindu and an international TV company from the Netherlands as well as officials from foreign embassies in China.

Huang said the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6) will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 in Cancun, Mexico. The Cancun Conference is another important conference for the international community to advance the "Bali Road Map" negotiations since the Copenhagen Conference last year. It is also the center of gravity and foothold for the international climate change negotiations this year; therefore it attracted wide attention from the international community. The international community as a whole expects the conference to be successful and make substantive progress in the "Bali Road Map" dual-track negotiations. The working group meetings held this October in Tianjin, China and the ministerial-level preparatory meetings held in Mexico in early November have laid a good foundation for this conference. Following the principle of “from easy to difficult”, a balanced package of decisions may be first achieved on financial, technical and other issues, of which the parties have greater consensus; while the parties can continue negotiations on issues, of which they have more controversies, but work in the same direction so as to lay a foundation to finalize the negotiations at the conference to be held in South Africa next year.

He said the Chinese government attaches great importance to climate change and the Cancun Conference. On October 28, Chinese President Hu Jintao, in his reply to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, has stated the basic attitude of the Chinese government: the Chinese government will participate in international negotiations on climate change and the Cancun Conference in a positive and constructive manner. China welcomes the Mexican government to host the conference in Cancun and appreciates the efforts made by Mexico in a bid to push for positive results for the conference. China supports the Mexican side to play its unique advantage as the host and its irreplaceable role. China supports the Cancun Conference to achieve substantial progress in promoting the "Bali Road Map" dual-track negotiations. China supports the Cancun Conference to make fair, reasonable and effective arrangements and reach a broad and balanced package of decisions on further strengthening the implementation of UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol based on the results of Copenhagen Conference and under the guidance of political consensus in the Copenhagen Accord.

With respect to the argument that the progress in climate change negotiations depends on whether China can make concessions on the transparency issue, Huang said that such argument begins at the wrong end. China supports the Cancun Conference to make comprehensive and balanced progress in every element of the "Bali Road Map". The transparency issue is about measurable, reportable and verifiable and it also includes international consultations and analysis. Developed and developing countries should all increase transparency. Measurable, reportable and verifiable are first targeted at the developed countries. China does not think that transparency is an issue. Actions of developing countries receiving financial and technical support from developed countries can accept the principle of “measurable, reportable and verifiable” while those without support from developed countries can accept international consultations and analysis. China supports the Cancun Conference to first reach consensus on the nature, objects and principles of international consultations and analysis and leave the details to future discussions.

Concerning financial and technical support, Huang said emission reduction is the core while financial and technical support is the key in the international negotiations on climate change. Developed countries are obliged to help developing countries adapt to climate change. The amount should be enormous. But in fact, financial and technical support from developed countries is not only lower than the actual demand, but also lower than the expectations of developing countries. China hopes developed countries to honor their financial obligations and provide new and additional financial support for developing countries, including the $30 billion for fast-start finance for 2010-2012 and long-term funding of $100 billion per year by 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord.

In regard to global temperature rise of not more than 2 degrees, Huang said the international community has reached important consensus on this issue. For the next step, the parties should focus on how to further strengthen pragmatic cooperation in international efforts to achieve this goal. China has put forward the voluntary reduction target in a responsible attitude, which includes operational objectives and measures such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020. The problem now is the emission reduction targets of developed countries are too low. China fully understands the special concerns of small island countries and the least developed countries. The Chinese side, also the victim of climate change, has aligned fundamental interest with small island states and least developed countries. While discussing long-term objective, the international community should also resolve how to ensure a fair development space for developing countries.

Huang also answered questions regarding China’s energy conservation and emission reduction targets during the 12th Five-Year Plan period, carbon tariff, and China’s role in climate change negotiations. After the briefing, Huang also accepted exclusive interviews with CCTV and the Basque Television of Spain.

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