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Backgrounder: Major parties' stances on fighting global warming

 
 
The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), along with the 4th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, will take place on Dec. 1-12in Poznan, central Poland.

Major parties, namely the European Union, the United States, Africa and China, still hold different positions on the issue.

For the EU, the 27-member bloc promises to lead the fight against climate change by quantifying the green house gas emission cuts.

According to a strategic energy plan adopted in March 2007, EU proposed to reduce 20 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions below the 1990 levels by 2020 and increase its renewable energy percentage to 20 percent. The bloc is scheduled to pass the plan in December.

Though expecting to push for a global deal for green house gas emission curbs, the bloc found itself disunified on the issue. Seven Eastern European countries oppose such a plan, fearing it may hurt their economies, which rely heavily on coal-fired energy.

As the only industrialized country who has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the United States under the George W. Bush administration showed positive changes in Bali last year by adopting the Bali Roadmap at the last minute to mitigate the adverse effects of rising temperatures.

No fundamental changes, however, have been seen due to the power transition this year.

In April, Bush said his country is able to meet the target of curbing gas emissions increase before 2025. During the G8 summit meeting in Japan in July, the U.S. promised to seek a 50-percent emission cut before 2050 along with the parties of the UNFCCC.

However, the U.S. conditioned its compromise by asking the developing countries to limit their emissions as industrialized nations.

Denying to follow the Bush policy on climate change, President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to re-engage his country "vigorously" in global climate talks, saying last week he will "help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change."

Fifty-three African nations adopted the Algiers Declaration on climate change on Nov. 19, 2008 and agreed to negotiate as a bloc in talks on a new global warming treaty, a move meant to give the continent highly threatened by climate change a greater say in the future pact.

The declaration demands to expand the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries.

Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction credits, each equivalent to one ton of CO2, which can be counted toward meeting Kyoto targets.

Africans will focus on making sure the world allots enough funds to fight the expansion of deserts, to protect forests, and to create sources of renewable energy -- the three fields where Africa has most at stake.

UN officials say that Africa, the world's poorest continent, contributes very little to global warming-related pollution, yet its people are by far those who risk most from climate change.

As a major developing country, China, along with most developing nations, agreed that the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol should serve as the main channel for countries to deal with climate change.

China upholds the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," insisting that it is the developed nations' responsibility to do more in stemming global warming.

China drafted a plan in June 2007 to deal with climate change, promising to reduce its energy consumption per GDP unit by 20 percent below the 2005 level.

China also believes that an efficient mechanism of technology development and transfer should be in place to fight climate change.

Zhang Ping, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, proposed in early November to set up specialized organizations under the COP to ensure technology development and transfer.

To guarantee this, he proposed to establish a specialized financial mechanism to provide financial support for technology development and transfer.

The developed countries should provide sufficient, predictable and stable financial support and establish "Technology Development and Transfer Fund" to stimulate technology development and transfer, and provide capacity-building support for the application of the technologies to developing countries, China suggests.

 

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 02,2008