Plans to fight climate change expected

Updated: 2015-06-29 07:43

By Fu Jing in Brussels(China Daily)

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Beijing will confirm its renewed commitment to controlling greenhouse gas emissions in Brussels on Monday, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

It is expected that China will also unveil its long-awaited national contribution to combating climate change ahead of the crucial United Nations climate talks to be held in Paris at the end of this year.

"China and the EU have a critical role to play in combating global climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity," said Yang Yanyi, Chinese ambassador to the EU, during an interview before the 17th China-EU Summit on Monday.

"Since the text of the proposed China-EU joint statement on climate change is still under discussion, understandably at this stage there aren't many details I can share with you."

In November, President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama made a joint announcement on climate change, in which China made public for the first time that its carbon emissions will peak around 2030.

Given the seriousness of the challenge, Yang said China and the EU have also made climate change and environmental protection their priorities in the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

"What I can say is that China and the EU have dedicated significant resources to advancing climate change negotiations and securing an ambitious possible outcome at the Paris Conference of the Parties," she said.

"The 17th China-EU Summit will be partly dedicated to designing a joint approach."

Yang said the joint statement on climate change will be a clear demonstration of the commitment of China and the EU to work constructively together for the common good.

She also said China and the EU will work together with other countries to adopt a protocol, some other legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris at the end of 2015.

Yang said: "They are committed to reaching an ambitious agreement that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances."

Yang also said that seeking a synergy between China's Belt and Road Initiative and the EU's 315 billion euro ($352 billion) investment plan "still needs a process".

Plans to fight climate change expected

"This is a process that requires both sides to have a deep and comprehensive understanding of each other's proposals and plans," said Yang.

Reuters had previously reported that China was going to pledge a multibillion dollar investment in Europe's new infrastructure fund.

"While the exact amount is still to be decided, the pledge will mark the latest step in China's efforts to shape global economic governance at the expense of the United States, and follows major EU governments' decisions to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in defiance of Washington," reported Reuters.

Asked about these reports, Yang told the China Daily: "The related governmental institutions of both sides should conduct further research and coordination regarding cooperation."

Yang said negotiations on an ambitious comprehensive China-EU investment agreement would provide a simpler and more secure legal framework for investors from both sides.

This would tap the full potential of China-EU cooperation and ensure that their economies remain key drivers for global economic growth and providing prosperity for all, she said.

"To this end, China and the EU have been actively engaged in negotiations with six rounds being conducted so far," said Yang. "We both agree to accelerate negotiations to achieve substantial progress by the end of this year."

Gao Shuang contributed to the story in Brussels.