All Nations Part of Climate Change Solution

5-30-09, 10:19 am

Original source: Global Times (China)

The US Congress needs to know that every country is part of a global solution for environmental protection in order to engage itself in the Copenhagen summit for a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, US Senator John Kerry said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday (May 26th).

“With Kyoto, we were unable to agree. We couldn’t get the votes in the Senate. Why? Because China and the rest of the developing world were not part of the solution,” Kerry said.

“And our people looked at the treaty and said, ‘Wait a minute, you mean even though we are the biggest emitter … we are going to reduce and our companies have to put out money and it may cost our products more and the rest of the world is not going to do anything? They can negate every single thing we do in a matter of months’,” he added.

“Our common language is ‘common but differentiated responsibility’; everybody has to reduce emissions and the difference is that people will do it at different levels and at a different rate … so it is important for China to help us understand what they are doing, what their targets will be and how we can measure that. If we can do that, then we will have the ability to go back to the US and show how everybody is part of the solution,” Kerry said.

Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was speaking after a China-US Clean Energy Forum in Beijing.

He praised the achievements China has made in recent years on environmental protection.

“China set a goal of a 20 percent energy reduction by 2010 and is found in many sectors to have been moving faster than expected.”

Regarding the global goals in Copenhagen, Kerry said, “Science tells us what we need to do. It’s important that we have a global goal and the marketplace sees the goal. If that happens you are going to see money pour in behind those technologies and there will be a rapid transformation, just like there was in computer technology or the Internet.”

Also a speaker at the forum, Jiang Kejun, an expert with the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the Global Times that he felt strongly about the need for the two countries to cooperate in energy conservation.

He said that China will probably put more focus on nuclear and wind energy more than other forms of energy in the coming years, and technology in cutting carbon dioxide is expected to reach developed-world level in three to five years.