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Highlighting Xi Jinping's speech at Paris climate change summit

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-01-2015 14:05 BJT

Full coverage: President Xi's France, Zimbabwe and South Africa visit

By Hu Zhengyue, CNTV Commentator

On November 30, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the United Nations (UN) Global Climate Change Conference in Paris to demonstrate that Beijing attaches significance to global climate change governance.


He expounded on China's philosophy to address climate change and called for closer cooperation from the international community.

China's attitude: The international community is concerned about the summit.

About 150 world leaders, around ten thousand delegates from 195 countries and the European Union (EU), over 2,000 representatives from Non-government Organizations (NGO) and more than 3,000 reporters have gathered, which sets a record for its size and scale.

Xi led a 200-member delegation to attend the summit. And an additional 100-member Chinese negotiating delegation is to attend all the meetings and engage in negotiations during the twoo-week summit. The negotiating team consists of members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and other ministries, as well as the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions' special delegates.

It's the first time China's Head of State has participated in climate change negotiations. The previous highest level Chinese official to attend was former Premier Wen Jiabao at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in 2009.

The Summit is held shortly after terrorist attacks erupted in Paris. The security situation remains grim, but Xi's attendance reflects moral support for the French.

China's philosophy: Climate change is a common challenge to human beings and the world must work together to cope. An agreement on an international mechanism to address climate change after 2020 would likely be yielded, marking it a new milestone.

Beijing will follow the principles of "common but with different responsibilities," fairness and respective capabilities, to promote constructive negotiations with all parties involved.

The Agreement should be based on the "UN Framework Convention on Climate Change" and the "Kyoto Protocol", in full compliance with the framework of the "Convention". It should respect differences of historical responsibilities and national conditions between developed and developing countries.

The agreement should be balanced by various elements including alleviation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency to ensure comprehensive implementation of the "Convention" after 2020.

China's responsibility: China is the world's largest developing country and the world's second largest economy.

As a populous nation with diverse terrain conditions, China's economic development continues to be unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable to a certain extent, hence vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Beijing intends to build a community of common destiny for sustainable development. In recent years, China has outlined a "National Plan on Addressing Climate Change (2014- 2020)."

Beijing has submitted China's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, specifying that Chinese carbon dioxide emissions would reach its peak at around 2030.

Beijing has issued joint statements on climate change with the United States, the EU, United Kingdom, India and Brazil to establish the "Climate Change Fund for South-South Cooperation." These measures have won widespread praise from the international community.

China's determination: The "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan" period (2016-2020) is a decisive stage for Beijing to build a moderately prosperous society, and to provide strategic opportunities for constructing ecological civilization and green low-carbon development.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has advocated a more sustainable and balanced development of "innovation, coordination, green, open, and sharing."

While summarizing its experiences of tackling climate change, Beijing will define goals and tasks during its "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan," in consideration of the global climate governance. This reflects China's solemn commitment to the climate change and national responsibilities.

China's proposal: The Paris agreement would endorse global climate governance by "top down" mandatory emissions reductions mode via a "bottom-up" self-reduction mode.

"Intended Nationally Determined Contributions" would require action from all countries, i.e., while accepting external oversight, when countries independently decide to update and submit their "Contributions" on a regular basis.

More than 80 countries and organizations, including China, EU, and US, have submitted a "Contributions" pledge, as they account for more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

However, global warming and the emissions gap are still very wide, with contradictions prevailing between developed and developing countries. Accordingly, there's a long way to go.

"Climate change is a global challenge at which no country can  stand on its own." Only if the international community strengthen cooperation and take resolute action, can we win this tough battle.

China would assume its obligations, but developed countries must bear greater historical responsibilities for their emissions and honor financial commitments already pledged to support developing countries. Additionally, the role of civil society is emerging with their participation becoming more imperative.

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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