BEIJING: China will continue to be an active player in climate talks and its policies will not be affected by any external changes, a Chinese negotiator at a UN climate change conference said. Chen Zhihua, a member of the Chinese delegation and an official of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, made the remarks on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) held in the Morrocan city of Marrakesh.
Whether the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change after US President-elect Donald Trump, who vowed to cancel the agreement during his campaign, takes office in January, Chen said now isn’t the right time to assess it. “We still need to wait. No matter what happens in the new US government, China will continue to constructively participate in the international climate change process,” said Chen, adding that global efforts to curb climate change will not stop. Even if the United States withdraws from the agreement, cooperation between China and the US will continue, Chen said. “This is the attitude we hold toward the matter.”
The UN climate change conference opened on Monday and will end next Friday. Chen said there were indeed some difficulties on issues such as financing and technology transfer in climate change talks. Developed countries have proposed about 100 billion US dollars to help developing countries counter climate change; the offer would be assessed very soon by all the participants, he said. However, no consensus has been reached on the “common but differentiated responsibilities,” or the basic principle to implement the Paris Agreement, he said. Chen urged developed countries to show their leadership and fulfill their promises to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. “We should shorten the distance between our actions and goals before 2020,” said Chen, adding that China is willing to offer its own proposals to combat climate change that could satisfy all parties.