China calls for help on climate change

In Asia, Governments & Politics, News Headlines

BEIJING – China called on the international community Thursday to increase the flow of technology to developing countries to help them fight climate change.

Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said developed nations “need to establish a mechanism for technological transfer” of environmentally friendly technology so developing countries can afford them.

China — which rivals the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases — has pledged to raise energy efficiency but has declined to sign up to internationally agreed emissions reductions.

Along with other developing countries such as India, China says their economies should not be penalized by binding cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases when their per capita emissions are much below those in developed countries.

Wan, who was speaking at the start of a two-day international conference on climate change in Beijing, said the solution to global warming lies in international cooperation and technology.

“Science and technological innovation will not only discover the nature of the problem we face, but also provide possible solutions … to the climate change problem,” Wan said at the Forum on Climate Change and Science and Technology Innovation.

Government officials and scientists from developing and developed countries, as well as from international organizations such as the United Nations were taking part in the meeting.

China has said it supports the international agreement reached in Bali, Indonesia, last year on fighting climate change.

The Bali “roadmap” is intended to lead to a more inclusive, effective successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which commits 37 industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gases by an average of 5 percent between 2008 and 2012.

A report released last month in California said the growth in China’s carbon dioxide emissions was far outpacing previous estimates. China’s projected annual increase in emissions was greater than the total now produced each year by either Great Britain or Germany, said the report by economists from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at San Diego.

Climate change will likely be on the agenda when European Commission President Manuel Barroso leads a large delegation for economic and trade talks in Beijing on Friday.

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