Historical step toward low-carbon future

Updated: 2015-12-14 08:14

(China Daily)

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Historical step toward low-carbon future

Smog shrouds the China Central Television building in Beijing on Monday, when severe air quality prompted the capital to order polluting industries to suspend production. [Photo/Agencies]

The 196 parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change made the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris a milestone in the world's endeavors to build a low-carbon future.

While applauding the unprecedented strong commitment that the international community has made to confront the threat of climate change, we urge all policymakers to spare no efforts to ensure as early and full as possible implementation of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of all nations, large or small, developed or developing.

It is no exaggeration to call the Paris deal an achievement unthinkable in the climate change talks over the past two decades. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out, "For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience, and join in common cause to take climate action." But high hopes and widespread optimism do not guarantee that the current momentum is unstoppable, especially given the dim global growth prospects and increasing instability in international relations.

To this joint effort of the mankind, indeed the first ever of its kind in history, a claim of ostentatious leadership or expression of verbal ambition won't be of any help. It is action that counts. Whether the goal of COP21 can be realized is only determined by every government's effectiveness to deliver its promise, backed by the needed resources.

As a responsible developing country, China will not hesitate to take international obligations commensurate with its own national conditions, development stage and actual capacity in the global fight against climate change.

The Paris deal has now created the much-needed mechanism, framework and architecture for continuous global measures to avoid the worst scenario of climate change and build a solid foundation of mutual trust for enhanced actions before and after 2020.

However, for this accord to work its magic in cutting carbon emissions as much as we expect, policymakers around the world must seize this chance to make full use of their nations' will and ability to take on this challenge. Investors should be encouraged to promote technological progress that can help build a clean-energy economy and consumers should assume their responsibilities by embracing low-carbon lifestyles.

Beijing's hazardously thick smog during the past two weeks may have born full testimony to the need of a historic breakthrough in Paris. Now, it should galvanize the whole world for no more words but rather hard work to implement this deal.