On Dec. 11, 2010, 193 countries participating in the climate change negotiations in Cancun reached two final resolutions, including: Developing countries will receive 300 billion U.S. dollars in short-term funding to address climate change in 2010-2012 from industrialized countries, and after 2020 they will be funded 100 billion U.S. dollars per year.
A Green Climate Fund will be established. Governments have agreed to boost actions to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with technological and financial support. And there will be a lower threshold for poor countries access to the low-carbon technologies.
The actions taken by the United States and other major emitters of greenhouse gas will be subject to international supervision, ensuring there is no gap between the first (the end of 2010) and second commitment periods (2013 to 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol.
The negotiations failed to resolve some key issues. For instance, in regard to the emission reduction targets for the developed countries, sources of funding have not truly implemented and the United States is still outside of the Kyoto Protocol. But there was really hard-won progresses in terms of financial support, technology transfer, protection of forests and climate change capacity building in developing countries.
China has contributed to achieve positive results at the conference. China created favorable conditions for the negotiations prior to the beginning of the conference. Under the adverse condition that China has 150 million people still under the poverty line and coal accounts for about 70 percent of total energy consumption, it is expected to achieve the energy-saving target of 20 percent for the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period.
From 1990 to 2009, China's per unit GDP energy consumption declined 53 percent, while that of the developed countries declined less than 30 percent. Since 2008, China has become the world's top investor in clean energy, having poured two trillion yuan in the clean energy sector. It set forth the goal to raise the ratio of renewable energy to total energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020.
Nicholas Stern, former Adviser to the U.K. Government on the Economics of Climate Change and Development said the fact that China invested heavily in the mitigation actions and clean energy has given it the upper hand in the negotiations. China’s move also made it hard for the United States and other developed countries to find excuses in delaying the negotiations and reducing emissions.
China's role is also reflected in aiding other developing countries to build their capacity to address climate change. China has given aid to Pacific island countries in more than 80 projects, and it also plans to offer a number of small clean energy projects to other developing countries between 2008 and 2013.
China gave a substantial push to the whole process of the Cancun conference. The draft bill presented to the conference by the Chinese delegation and the Group of 77 on the mitigation of climate change, which involves education, training and awareness issues, was unanimously adopted. It was the first point of consensus reached during the Cancun conference.
At the critical period in the negotiations, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, rejected the unreasonable demands of the United States and other developed countries on the issue of how the mitigation actions in developing countries will undergo "international consultation and supervision" and urged developed countries to accept the demand to submit detailed information for the financial, technical and capacity-building assistance they are going to transfer to developing countries.
China's action won wide international acclaim. Brazil's climate change envoy Sergio Sierra said China made outstanding contributions in emissions reduction. Its role in the climate change negotiations was also "very constructive," he said.