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China committed to fighting climate change

China is committed to fighting climate change, and ready to engage in work to cut harmful emissions and save energy, said an EP Temporary Committee on Climate Change delegation after visiting Beijing on 5-7 November.

But although it sees the need to co-operate with industrialized countries on technology transfer, and the need for financial assistance to do it, China believes that developing countries, including emerging economies, should not have to make quantitative commitments at this stage.

Summarizing the delegation’s findings, committee Chairman Guido Sacconi, who led the delegation, said „First of all, China is very committed in the fight against climate change and ready to engage in the area of emissions reductions, energy-saving, and energy-efficiency. At the same time, it acknowledges the importance of co-operating with industrialized countries on technology and technology transfer, as well as the need for financial assistance in this field.

These are certainly extremely positive messages. One critical issue remains, however: the fact that, at this stage, China still considers that the current structure of the Kyoto Protocol should be maintained and developing countries, including emerging economies, should have no quantitative commitments.”

„Having listened and seen what our Chinese counterparts have done”, added rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz, „I got the impression that the Chinese authorities are adopting and implementing legislation to successfully start the fight against climate change.”

„2007 and 2008 are the decisive years for the post-2012 process. In view of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali next December, I was happy to learn that for China the United Nations is the forum for the international negotiations on climate change. I am also convinced that China will be a close and key partner of the EU in the negotiations for a post-2012 agreement. It is in our mutual interest to succeed in the fight against climate change”.

This was the first in a series visits by Climate Change Committee delegations to non-EU countries, in order to develop contacts among parliamentarians and forge a strong alliance to address climate change issues. During their visit to China, MEPs met with - among others - Mao Rubai, Chairman of the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the National People’s Congress, and Ambassador Yu Qingtai, Special representative of the Foreign Affairs Minister in charge of international negotiations on climate change. (EP Press)