(BN) China ‘Outperformed’ on Effort to Curb Climate Change, UN Says


China 'Outperformed' on Effort to Curb Climate Change, UN Says
2010-11-15 15:35:06.651 GMT

By Reed Landberg
Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- China has stepped up its efforts to
rein in global warming by implementing rules that will cap
emissions of greenhouse gasses from its domestic industry, the
chief climate negotiator for the United Nations said.
"They have actually not just performed to the level of
their target, but they have outperformed," Christiana Figueres,
the UN diplomat leading climate negotiations, said in a webcast
press conference from Bonn.
Figueres said she is "optimistic" that the annual climate
talks beginning Nov. 29 in the Mexican resort city of Cancun can
reach an agreement. Her comments were aimed at boosting momentum
for the discussions involving more than 190 nations after last
year's effort in Copenhagen stalled.
U.S. diplomats have said China is backtracking on plans
sketched out last year in Copenhagen to slow global warming.
China, the world's biggest polluter, has said it's not ready to
make a legally binding commitment to reduce fossil fuel
emissions blamed for damaging the atmosphere.
Disputes between the U.S. and China in three rounds of
technical discussions about the talks this year have reduced
expectations for what the meeting in Cancun will accomplish.
Figueres reiterated that her aim isn't a treaty that would add
to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which set out emissions caps for
rich nations. She is instead targeting progress on some issues.

'Big Step'

"It is unrealistic to expect governments to move in one
big step toward a legally binding treaty," she said, naming
China as one of the countries that has done the most.
China installed a third of all wind-power turbines last
year, doubling its capacity to 25 gigawatts, according to the
Global Wind Energy Council. It plans to have 90 gigawatts of
wind power and 5 gigawatts of solar energy by 2015, limiting its
reliance on coal, oil and gas, which currently account for 86
percent of its energy consumption.
U.S. elections on Nov. 2 reduced the command that President
Barack Obama's Democratic Party had in Congress, hurting chances
for legislation that would limit carbon dioxide emissions.
"The world is looking for answers," Figueres said.
"Cancun has to be the next essential step. There is a deal to
be done. Cancun will be a success if parties compromise. That's
how multilateral agreements are made elsewhere, and it can
happen in Cancun, too. I am not going to underestimate the
political gaps that need to be bridged."

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--Editors: Mike Anderson, Alex Devine.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Reed Landberg in London at +44-20-7330-7862 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Todd White in Madrid at +34-91-700-9604 or