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Barbara Finamore’s Blog

China Transparency Pledge Moves Copenhagen Talks Forward

Barbara Finamore

Posted December 17, 2009 in Greening China, Solving Global Warming

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China advanced hope for a global climate accord Thursday, saying it would enhance the information it makes available to other countries about its carbon emissions and submit that reporting to some form of international review.

This opens the door to a potential agreement that ensures transparency in a way that is not intrusive and respects China's sovereignty. It is a welcome sign of how serious the Chinese are about taking action against climate change.

The announcement was made by He Yafei, China's vice minister for foreign affairs, at a press conference at the UN climate summit.  He said China would enhance and improve national communication to improve transparency, and that it would consider international exchange, dialogue and cooperation on these issues.

Transparency has been a sticking point between U.S. negotiators and the Chinese. The apparent opening came hours after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the United States would participate in a global climate fund to reach $100 billion a year by 2020. (See transcript here.)  The money would be used to help low income countries cope with the ills of climate change.

Neither Secretary Clinton nor Vice Minister He drew a direct link between the moves. Both announcements, though, reflected forward motion by the two countries. Together, China and the United States account for about 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. For that reason, the two countries are regarded as essential to getting a global climate change accord.

President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed to forge a strategic partnership around climate and energy issues when they met last month in Beijing.

China's willingness to engage in a constructive way on the issue of international reporting and review reflects the spirit of the new partnership. We look forward to continued progress on this front.

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Comments

sweets672Dec 17 2009 06:53 PM

And what are the odds China would actually provide true and accurate info? The export shoddy, toxic, and dangerous products to the U.S. on a daily basis, and take no reponsibility for the damage these products cause. The CPSC website of recalls is filled with products manufactured in China. Thousands of families have been devastated by toxic drywall imported from China. When are we going to make them pay for the damages caused by their faulty products, or flat out refuse their imports?

MingDec 18 2009 09:24 AM

hey Barbara, the Guardian got your org name wrong, they said"Barbara Finamore, the China programme director of the US-based National Resource Defence Committee, saw signs of hope in the speeches by the leaders of the world's two biggest emitters..." do you want to email Jonathan Watts and tell him to make it right? the link of the news is:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/18/china-wen-jiabao-copenhagen

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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