Chinese climate delegation in Bonn calls for focused talks on pre-2020 action

Updated 2017-11-11 09:31:57 Xinhua

The Chinese delegation to the ongoing UN climate talks here on Friday voiced concerns on behalf of the developing countries, calling for focused discussions on pre-2020 actions.

PRE-2020 ACTIONS

"There has been heated debate on pre-2020 ambition in Bonn. Actually it is not a new issue, rather, an unfinished business," Chinese negotiator Chen Zhihua told a press briefing held by the delegation, calling for adding the issue on the conferences' agenda item.

Focusing on technical issues, the first week of the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is drawing to an end.

"There are only two years to 2020 so we don't have the luxury of time, and we really need to accelerate domestic processes to ratify the Doha amendment so as to put it into effect as soon as possible," Chen said.

He added, as countries agreed in the Bali process that developed countries should enhance their ambition in terms of support to developing countries, "it is time to take stock of what they have done and where the gap is and how to close the gap."

"If we cannot fill the gaps for pre-2020, the gaps will ultimately transfer to the post-2020 period," said Chen.

Gu Zihua, another Chinese negotiator, added that China believed that pre-2020 is a "trust-building issue" for developing countries, and if pledges already been made cannot be fulfilled, their faith in future pledges will be dampened.

"We are not asking the developed countries to make unrealistic pledges, we are just asking them to fulfill promises already been made," Gu said, calling for a clear decision on the timeline of entry into full of the Doha amendment.

The global fight against climate change, starting from 1992 with the inception of the UNFCCC, can be divided into pre-2020 phase which was guided by the Kyoto Protocol and years afterwards which will be directed by the Paris Agreement.

However, the Doha amendment, establishing the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2013-2020) and including quantified emission limitation or reduction commitments by several developed countries, have just been ratified by some countries.

Developing countries also called for a ceremony to celebrate the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the historical event, according to Chen.

"We need to do something to memorize this very important historical moment, and action is the best way to commemorate the adoption," Chen said.

FINANCING CONCERN

Chen also mentioned financing as a concern of not only China but all developing countries, "because the gap is there".

"If the U.S. is going to make less contribution, the gap is going to get bigger," Chen said, answering a question about whether the U.S. withdraw have any implications on climate financing.

Gu Zihua made clear the stance that the obligation of financing is a collective one of the developed countries.

"So if one developed country withdraws, we hope that other developed countries enhance their contributions to fill that gap, and we also believe that local government, corporations and non-state actors in the U.S. can play a role to fill that gap," Gu said.

Gu pledged China would continue to make contributions on a voluntary basis and through south-south cooperation to help other developing countries to address climate change.

CHINA'S ROLE

China has played a proactive role in the first week's COP meeting, Gu said in an interview with Xinhua.

"We have been substantially engaged in the talks on each agenda, and contributed China's proposals," Gu said.

Moreover, China has been acted as a mediator of the developing countries to coordinate their stances and kept close consultations with the president on facilitative dialogue, according to Gu.

China also organized multiple side events at the China pavilion to introduce the country's best practices in climate protection and conduct exchanges with other countries or climate actors, Gu added.

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