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President Hu Jintao Delivers a Speech at the Opening Session of the UN Summit on Climate Change

2009/09/22

    UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao said here on Tuesday the international community should tackle global climate change through common development, calling for international joint work and pledging China's continued efforts on this issue.

    "Global climate change has a profound impact on the existence and development of mankind and is a major challenge facing all countries," the president said when addressing the UN climate change summit.

    "Climate change is an environment issue, but also, and more importantly, a development issue," Hu said.

    "We should and can only advance efforts to address climate change in the course of development and meet the challenge through common development," he said.

FOUR PRINCIPLES

    The Chinese president outlined four principles needed for a successful concerted effort to deal with climate change worldwide.

    Hu said that fulfilling respective responsibilities, achieving mutual benefit and a win-win outcome, promoting common development and ensuring financing and technology were of utmost importance in making these efforts work.

    The Chinese president, who travelled to the United States to attend a string of UN meetings and a forthcoming Group of 20 (G20)Summit, described fulfilling respective responsibilities as the core of the concerted efforts.

    "The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities embodies the consensus of the international community," said Hu. "Adherence to this principle is critical to keeping international cooperation on climate change on the right track."

    Hu called on both developed and developing countries to take active steps to deal with climate change issues.

    "Developed countries should fulfil the task of emission reduction set in the Kyoto Protocol... and support developing countries in countering climate change," he added, urging developing countries to also work hard to adapt to climate change according to their national conditions and with the financial and technological support from developed countries.

    On achieving mutual benefit and a win-win outcome, the Chinese president said that, as the goal of the concerted effort, whole-hearted cooperation and coordinated actions of the international community were required.

    Hu said that, though not their outright responsibility, it served their long-term interest if developed countries extended assistance to developing countries in tackling climate change.

    Promoting common development was the basis of the concerted efforts, he said.

    "Without common development, particularly the development of developing countries, there cannot be a broad and solid basis in the long run for tackling climate change," he said.

    To wrap up his insight into how to tackle climate change, President Hu gave great significance to financing and technology transfer.

    "Ensuring financing and technology holds the key to the success of our effort," said Hu.

    He urged developed countries to take up their responsibilities and provide developing countries with new, additional, adequate and predictable financial support to facilitate their dealing with climate change.

    "This, in effect, represents a joint investment in the future of mankind," he stressed.

CHINA'S MEASURES

    Meanwhile, Hu also announced four measures that China will adopt to further integrate actions on climate change into its economic and social development plan.

    First, China will intensify efforts to conserve energy and improve energy efficiency, and endeavor to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by a notable margin by 2020 from the 2005 level, Hu said.

    "Second, we will vigorously develop renewable energy and nuclear energy. We will endeavor to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020," he added.

    Third, China will energetically increase forest carbon sink and endeavor to increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020 from the 2005 levels, Hu said.

    "Fourth, we will step up effort to develop green economy, low-carbon economy and circular economy, and enhance research, development and dissemination of climate-friendly technologies," he added.

    "Out of a sense of responsibility to the world ... China has taken and will continue to take determined and practical steps to tackle this challenge," said the president.

    The Chinese president arrived here Monday for the UN climate change summit and other UN meetings. He will also travel to Pittsburgh for the G20 summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday. 

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