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China congratulates Paris climate change agreement

Lan Lan in Paris
Updated: Dec 13,2015 1:57 PM

The historic legally binding universal agreement for addressing climate change has been adopted at the United Nations climate conference in Paris, ushering the world into a sustainable new era.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, said the newly adopted historic legally binding Paris Agreement has sent the world a positive and robust signal to achieve low carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable development.

“It’s not a perfect deal and there is still room for improvement, however, it doesn’t hinder us to take a historic step, said Xie at the close plenary in the Le Bourget on Dec 12.

The Paris Climate Conference is a crucial point in the global climate governance process. The outcome has a bearing with the undertaking of climate change of the human being and our future of sustainable development, said Xie.

China warmly congratulates the adoption of the Paris Agreement and thanks the host France for making the historic meeting a success.

“With unremitting efforts of all parties, we adopted here an equitable and reasonable, comprehensive and balanced, ambitious, durable and effective, and legally binding Paris Agreement,” said Xie.

With the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capacities, the Paris Agreement includes all major elements of mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency, he said.

It represents balance among all countries as well as across the globe, and constitutes a milestone in the process of global efforts in climate change governance.

The Paris Agreement encompasses the broadest consensus of all Parties, and embodies arduous efforts from Heads of states, ministers and negotiators of all nations.

“All parties, at this historic juncture, are making a right choice, which will be instrumental to their own people, responsible for posterity and facilitating to global sustainable development. It is an epic movement in our era and for all humanity,” said Xie.

“Given that the agreement has been adopted, the key task for the next step is implementation. We also hope all parties could implement outcomes of Paris Conference in a proactive manner, and be well prepared for its entry into force and implementation,” he said.

He called on all the parties to adopt active measures to enhance actions before the year 2020. In particular, developed countries should honor their commitment to provide finance, technology and capacity-building support to developing countries, so as to build a solid foundation of mutual trust for enhanced actions after 2020.

“As a responsible developing country, China’s combat of climate change is an intrinsic requirement for its sustainable development and shows the spirit of forging a common community of shared destiny,” he said.

China will take international obligations commensurate with its own national condition, development stage and actual capacity. China will continue to meet the targets of climate actions before the year 2020, implement the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and make best efforts to peak early, he said.

Yang Fuqiang, senior adviser on energy, environment and climate change at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said China has played a constructive role to support the achievement of an ambitious and strong Paris Agreement.

China and the United States’ cooperation and coordination on climate change provided positive impetus for the negotiations, said Yang.

China has committed to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030 and also shown leadership in building a national carbon cap and trade system by 2017.

It will contribute 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) to the South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to help developing countries address climate change.