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Vice-premier meets UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Updated: Apr 22,2016 10:03 AM

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (Left) meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, April 21, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

China will continue to address global climate change and actively work with developing nations in doing, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 21.

During a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Zhang said the adoption of the Paris accord is of historic significance as it charts the course for global action against climate change beyond 2020.

Climate negotiators of 196 parties adopted the accord at UN climate change talks in Paris, France, on Dec 12, 2015. The agreement sets a target of staving off an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably of 1.5 degrees.

China, Zhang said, highly appreciates the efforts made by the United Nations toward the deal, and believes that the high-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement would provide new impetus to the pact and renew global efforts to curb climate change.

Noting that China has always been a responsible player in the negotiations of the accord, Zhang pointed out that Beijing has made major contributions to the Paris talks.

“Going forward, China will continue to participate in and promote international efforts against climate change,” he said.

“Meanwhile, China will work to bring about an early entry into force as well as a full implementation of the Paris Agreement and actively conduct south-south cooperation on climate change,” he added.

The Paris climate deal needs 55 nations that together account for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions to ratify the agreement before it enters into force.

More than 160 countries, including China, are expected to sign the pact on April 22, the first day when the landmark deal is open for government signatures.

As a major developing country, China considers the fight against climate change both an international responsibility and a domestic need, said Zhang.

China, he says, will continue to pursue innovative green growth, such as creating more low-carbon pilot cities, developing near zero carbon emission areas and launching a national emissions trading system, the vice premiere said.

The UN, Zhang said, plays an irreplaceable role in global affairs and China will further support UN’s role in resolving international hot issues, addressing global challenges and pushing forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China is ready to further strengthen its cooperation with the UN, he added.

For his part, Ban welcomes Zhang as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy to attend the signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement.

Noting that China has played an important role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the UN chief said China has vigorously pushed for energy conservation and emissions reduction, as well as south-south cooperation, demonstrating great leadership in this regard.

The UN is ready to work closely with China to implement the climate deal, and also expects China to continue its staunch support regarding UN climate change efforts, Ban said.

At Ban’s invitation, Zhang will attend the high-level signing ceremony to be held at UN headquarters in New York on April 22.