|China's Position on the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference|
implementation of the bali roadmap
China's Position on the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference
May 20, 2009
Climate change is one of the most serious challenges to humanity in the 21st century and a matter of human survival and the development of all countries, which requires cooperation and joint efforts by the international community. Fully aware of the seriousness and urgency of climate change and with a deep sense of responsibility for the long-term development of mankind, China is firmly committed to sustainable development and has formulated and implemented its National Climate Change Programme, taking a series of strong policies, measures and actions and making unremitting efforts and commendable contribution to addressing climate change. China will continue such policies, measures and actions. In the face of international financial crisis, China remains determined to take unrelenting efforts to address climate change.
As a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, China is always committed to have the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol implemented and very serious about honoring commitments on its part. International negotiations are underway to give effect to the Bali Roadmap to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, aiming at reaching a positive outcome at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen at the end of this year. China will continue to play an active and constructive role in such negotiations and hereby presents its position on the Copenhagen Climate Conference implementing the Bali Roadmap.
1. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol as the Basis and the Mandate of the Bali Roadmap as the Focus. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol constitute the basic framework and legal basis for international cooperation to address climate change, which embody the consensus of the international community and serve as the foundation governing the implementation of the Bali Roadmap. The Bali Roadmap affirms the mandate to enhance the implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, which is, on the one track, to secure the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC by making corresponding arrangements in terms of mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support and, on the other track, to determine further quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.
2. The Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. Developed countries shall take responsibility for their historical cumulative emissions and current high per capita emissions to change their unsustainable way of life and to substantially reduce their emissions and, at the same time, to provide financial support and transfer technology to developing countries. Developing countries will, in pursuing economic development and poverty eradication, take proactive measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
3. The Principle of Sustainable Development. Sustainable development is both the means and the end of effectively addressing climate change. Within the overall framework of sustainable development, economic development, poverty eradication and climate protection should be considered in a holistic and integrated manner so as to reach a win-win solution and to ensure developing countries to secure their right to development.
4. Mitigation, Adaption, Technology Transfer and Financial Support on the Same Footing and as Equal Priorities. Mitigation and adaption are integral components of combating climate change and should be given equal treatment. Compared with mitigation that is an arduous task over a longer time horizon, the need for adaption is more real and urgent to developing countries. Financing and technology are indispensible means to achieve mitigation and adaptation. The fulfillment of commitments by developed countries to provide financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries is a condition sine qua non for developing countries to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The objective of the Copenhagen Climate Conference is to further enhance the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and to reach positive outcome, focusing on making concrete arrangements for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial support:
1. To set deeper quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and to ensure comparability of quantified emission reduction commitments by developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and that are not;
2. To establish effective institutional arrangements to ensure that developed countries are fulfilling their commitments to provide technology, financing and capacity building support to developing countries;
3. To enable developing countries to take nationally appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions, in the context of sustainable development, supported by technology, financing and capacity building from developed countries.
III. FuRTHER ENHANCING THE full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC
1. Shared Vision for Long-term Cooperative Action
A shared vision for long-term cooperative action is to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC to achieve its ultimate objective. Such a vision should be guided by the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the principle of equity. Since the UNFCCC has clearly defined the ultimate objective to address climate change, the overriding task for the international community is to implement concrete actions. The goal for long-term cooperative action should be a comprehensive one, consisting of sustainable development, mitigation, adaptation, financing and technology. In terms of mitigation, developed countries as a whole shall, as their mid-term targets, reduce their GHG emissions by at least 40% below their 1990 level by 2020.
(a) Mitigation Commitments by Developed Countries
i) Developed countries shall undertake measurable, reportable and verifiable legally-binding deeper quantified emission reduction commitments;
ii) Given their historical responsibility and development level and based on the principle of equality, developed countries shall reduce their GHG emissions in aggregate by at least 40% below their 1990 levels by 2020 and take corresponding policies, measures and actions;
iii) The quantified emission reduction targets and corresponding policies, measures and actions undertaken by developed countries shall be measurable, reportable and verifiable;
iv) The 'measurable, reportable and verifiable' requirement shall apply to the progress and results of implementation actions as well as the quantified emission reduction commitments per se, which shall apply, mutatis mutandis, the provisions and procedures of the Kyoto Protocol regarding compliance, monitoring and verification mechanisms;
v) The comparability of efforts among developed countries shall be judged by the following:
- Comprehensiveness: targets, policies, measures, actions and etc.;
- Same nature of commitments: quantified and legally-binding;
- Proximity of magnitude and intensity;
- Same compliance, monitoring and verification mechanism.
(b) Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions by Developing Countries
i) Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) by developing countries shall be taken in the context of sustainable development and in line with the legitimate priority needs of developing countries for development and the eradication of poverty;
ii) NAMAs by developing countries are distinct in nature from quantified emission reduction commitments by developed countries.
- NAMAs by developing countries are initiated by themselves, distinct from international legally-binding commitments of developed countries;
- NAMAs by developing countries are concrete mitigation policies, actions and projects, distinct from the quantified emission reduction commitments and targets by developed countries;
- NAMAs by developing countries are in line with their national circumstances and sustainable development strategies with the priorities identified by themselves;
- NAMAs by developing countries shall be supported and enabled by technology, finance and capacity building provided by developed countries in a measurable, reportable and verifiable way.
iii) The provision of technology, financing and capacity building support to developing countries is the obligation of developed country Parties under the UNFCCC, and the government of the developed country shall play the central role and shall not evade its obligation.
iv) Appropriate mechanism may be established to match NAMAs with technology, financing and capacity building support:
- Developing countries proposing concrete mitigation actions, including projects, and corresponding needs for technology, financing and capacity building support;
- Developed countries providing measurable, reportable and verifiable technology, financing and capacity building support through technology transfer and financial mechanisms of the UNFCCC.
v) The emission reduction achieved by NAMAs shall not be used to offset the quantified emission reduction targets of developed countries;
vi) Only those actions enabled by measurable, reportable and verifiable support are subject to the 'measureable, reportable and verifiable' requirement.
(c) Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD)
i) In developing methodology and positive incentives, equal treatment shall be given to reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks through conservation, sustainable management of forests and incremental change of forest cover in developing countries;
ii) Actions to reduce emission from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks through conservation, sustainable management of forests and incremental change of forest cover in developing countries are important measures to promote sustainable development and poverty eradication to combat climate change in developing countries, and shall neither be used to offset developed countries' emission reduction targets, nor to introduce mitigation commitments for developing countries;
iii) Developed countries shall, in accordance with the provisions of the UNFCCC, provide adequate financing, technology and capacity building supports to enable developing countries to take voluntary actions to reduce emission from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks through conservation, sustainable management of forests and incremental change of forest cover.
(a) Institutional Framework on Adaptation. Comprehensive institutional framework should be established to provide support for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) among them, to adapt to climate change.
(b) Establishment of a Subsidiary Body. Under the overall guidance of the COP, it is mandated to plan, organize, coordinate, monitor and evaluate international adaptation actions and to support developing countries to take adaption actions. Regional adaptation centers shall also be established.
(c) Establishment of a Convention Adaptation Fund. The Fund shall support developing countries to adapt to climate change, which includes, inter alia:
i) To enhance capacity building, including data collection and vulnerability assessment;
ii) To cover full cost for preparation of national adaptation action plans;
iii) To implement adaptation actions, projects and programmes;
iv) To implement risk management and risk reduction strategies;
v) To build climate resilience through economic diversification;
vi) To promote research, development and diffusion of adaptation technologies.
vii) To promote education, training and public awareness-raising;
(d) Establishment of a Corresponding Mechanism on Monitoring and Evaluation. It shall monitor the provision of adequate financing, technology and capacity building support by developed countries and evaluate the adequacy of such support.
4. Technology Development and Technology Transfer
(a) Institutional Arrangements. Technology development and technology transfer is critical to combat climate change. The priority is to establish appropriate institutional arrangements to ensure obligations of developed countries under the UNFCCC be implemented.
(b) Establishment of a Subsidiary Body on Technology Development and Technology Transfer. Under the overall guidance of the COP, it is mandated to plan, organize, coordinate, monitor and evaluate international technology development and technology transfer activities, which include, inter alia:
i) Develop and implement programmes for joint R&D on key climate-friendly technologies;
ii) Assess technology needs;
iii) Elaborate lists of technologies available for transfer;
iv) Identify barriers to technology transfer and solutions thereof;
v) Identify incentives to facilitate technology transfer;
vi) Administer technology information and manage activities of technology development and transfer;
vii) Handle IPR-related issues;
viii) Promote capacity building;
ix) Monitor progress and assess performance.
(c) Establishment of a Multilateral Technology Acquisition Fund. The Fund shall be mainly financed by public funding of developed countries and be used to support technology development and technology transfer to developing countries.
(d) Performance Assessment and Monitoring. Progress in technology transfer, including range, scale and effectiveness should be regularly monitored and assessed.
5. Financial Support
(a) Institutional Arrangements. To effectively operationalize the financial mechanism under the UNFCCC, an Adaptation Fund, a Mitigation Fund, a Multilateral Technology Acquisition Fund and a Capacity Building Fund shall be established. The governance of these Funds should be under the authority and guidance of the COP with equitable and balanced representation of all Parties in a transparent and efficient manner. The Funds should be managed with easy accessibility and low administrative cost.
(b) Sources of Funding. It is the commitment on the part of the governments of the developed country Parties to provide new, additional, adequate and predictable financial resources. Financial resources from private sectors and the carbon market could be complementary to those provided by the developed country Parties.
(c) The Scale of Funding. The developed country Parties shall make assessed contributions with a certain percentage of their annual GDP, e.g. 0.5-1%, to the above-mentioned Funds.
IV. Further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol
1. Strictly Focusing on the Mandate. The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 should, in accordance with decision taken under the Kyoto Protocol (Decision 1/CMP.1), set further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol through an amendment to its Annex B.
2. The Kyoto Protocol as a Long Living Treaty. The Kyoto Protocol, in giving effect to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, established the modality for developed countries Parties to take the lead in reducing their GHG emissions, which is an important legal instrument to implement the UNFCCC. It sets the quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries for the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012, and establishes an in-built mechanism for setting further quantified emissions reduction commitments for developed countries for subsequent periods. The Kyoto Protocol remains valid sine die, which is not terminated by the expiry of its first commitment period. The mandate of the AWGKP is simple and clear, which is to set further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries by the adoption of an amendment to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol and, by no means, to rewrite the Kyoto Protocol.
3. The AWGKP as one Parallel Track. The AWGKP is one of the two equally important negotiation tracks under the Bali Roadmap. It should complete its work as soon as possible in order to ensure there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods under the Kyoto Protocol. Only the further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are first determined by the AWGKP, could the comparability under the AWGLCA be established later on. The success of the Copenhagen Climate Conference will depend on the AWGKP's timely completion of its work to establish further quantified emission reduction commitments for developed countries for the second commitment period.
4. Further Quantified Emission Reduction Commitments for Developed Country Parties for the Second Commitment Period. Developed countries shall undertake to reduce their GHG emissions in aggregate by at least 40% below their 1990 level by 2020.