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Cover Stories Series 2011
UPDATED: December 5, 2011
China Speaks up at Climate Talks

China's delegation to Durban is headed by Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua. As the talks are ready to enter the second phase, he has expressed China's clear stance.

China is speaking up. It wants a comprehensive and balanced pact be sealed in Durban. One that's based on equal principles and reflects common but differentiated responsibilities.

Xie said, "We're seeing an obvious gap between different parties. But we do hope that we can adopt a responsible attitude for the development of mankind. It's important to turn these political wills into concrete actions. We should all be cooperative, constructive, and flexible. The outcome may not satisfy everyone, but it can still be acceptable. And this is what a multilateral mechanism should be about."

The minister said China is willing to make commitments that are appropriate to its development stage.

China's per capita GDP stands at $4,300. And 120 million people, that's one tenth of its population, still live in poverty on less than $1 a day.

Despite this, the country has promised to reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent by 2015.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres acknowledges China is taking the lead in developing clean technology. She said momentum is building towards a low carbon society.

Wind power is playing a central role in this. Some 15 gigawatts of wind power capacity will be installed each year up to 2020.

These are the smaller initiatives that help move things forward.

Figueres said, the Kyoto Protocol and the Green Climate Fund are certainly the key deliverables for COP 17.

Ministers from around the world are arriving in Durban for the most difficult part of the talks. As the world's second largest economy, and also the biggest developing country, China has a distinctive position. It is going to work with developed countries to come up with solutions, if there are any, to conflicting interests. But unless negotiators are willing to budge from their positions that have kept them deadlocked for two years, process will be difficult to achieve.

(CNTV.cn December 5, 2011)

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