China is keen to see parties give priority to implementing their pledges at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow rather than shouting empty slogans, an official says.
Developed countries have also been urged to honor their financial commitments to developing countries and to offer the poor states more support in funding, technology and capacity building.
The remarks were made in Beijing on Wednesday. The conference opened on Sunday.
“The summit should focus on implementation,” said Ye Min, vice-minister of ecology and environment. “It should proactively advocate parties to implement their targets and transform the pledges into policies, measures and concrete actions.”
Even though some rich countries have yet to fulfill previous promises, they want to lift the global climate targets, he said.
This included failing to bridge the gap in their promises of channeling $100 billion a year to developing countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change by last year, a part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, he said, referring to it as “an issue that concerns the mutual trust between developing and developed nations”.
“Parties should recognize that climate targets without concrete actions are no different from castles in the air.”
Only when parties jointly strive to implement the requirements and targets of the Paris Agreement can the world effectively cope with the challenges brought by climate change, Ye said, and parties to COP 26 should avoid shouting empty slogans about coming up with targets or lifting targets.
The Paris Agreement, which entered its implementation phase this year, aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 C above preindustrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 C.
China is also expecting progress on developed countries’ support for developing countries in funding, technology and capacity building, which has been a key concern for the poor states for a long time, Ye said.
“At previous conferences the funding and climate adaptation issues, a long-term concern of the developing nations, were not taken seriously and adequately responded to. This has left them disappointed.”
Many poor countries have cast doubt on whether the rich countries want to help them tackle climate change or simply want to shift responsibilities in reducing emissions to them.
“This has become the biggest obstacle that hinders the multilateral process from keeping going forward,” Ye said.
Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities is a principle within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris treaty.
Article 9 of the Paris treaty stipulates that developed countries must provide financial resources to help developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the convention.
Sun Zhen, deputy director-general of climate change at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said China would work with others in talks over the rule book for Article 6 of the accord, which is highly technical and includes market-based climate change mitigation mechanisms.
“China is willing to work together with the UK, the presidency of COP 26 … to promote the conference to conclude negotiations over the topic (of Article 6) and all other unsettled issues of the Paris Agreement.”
China hopes the market mechanisms in the article will help produce funds for developing countries as they adapt to climate change, because the funds they get from rich countries fall well short of their needs, he said.
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