Developed countries should not shirk their duties

Updated: 2014-12-15 17:48

By Li Yang(

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Climate change concerns everybody’s future. All relevant parties must undertake their responsibilities to face up to the shared challenges, says an article in the People's Daily. Excerpts:

The 20th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change finished in Lima, capital of Peru, recently. People hope this meeting can help the international community for the first time to reach next agreement on actions on climate change in Paris next year before the 2020 deadline kicks in.

Responding to climate change is one of the most sensitive topics in modern world. Although the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has clearly expressed the principles of fairness, and called for the world to share the responsibility together, the negotiation on climate change has made few progresses in recent years. A key problem is whether the developed countries can fulfill their promises before 2020, such as increasing the emission cut by a large margin by 2020, and transfering more capital and technology to help the developing countries cut emissions.

We should perceive the climate change from historical angles. The Western countries have discharged large amount of greenhouse gases for more than 200 years after the industrial revolution. Their emission of carbon dioxide accounts for about 80 percent of the global total. To some extent, the climate change and ecological crisis today is a hysteretic negative influence of the Western countries’ development.

The average personal emission of the developed countries is far higher than that of the developing countries. Many products consumed by the developed countries are made in the developing countries. So the developed countries should not shirk away their due responsibilities.

In contrast, the developing countries have launched industrialization only recently. They enjoy much less “environmental bonus”, and their influence on the climate change is also smaller. A large proportion of their emission is from their production for developed countries. Their capital and technology in cleaning the environment are also limited. It is unrealistic to require the developing countries to sacrifice their development purely for the environment.

Moreover, with China as a representative, most developing countries have carefully fulfilled their promises, and made noticeable contribution to solve the global climate change issue.

China’s use of the new energy and renewable energy increased the fastest in the world. Since 2011, Chinese government has invested 270 million yuan ($45 million) to promote cooperation among developing countries to solve the climate change. China also gifts low-carbon products to, and organizes technological trainings for the other developing countries, providing as much as assistance and support for the other developing countries.