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Developed nations should not shift responsibility for climate change: Chinese envoy

BONN, Germany, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The core of the ongoing UN climate talks is that developed countries should take on their historical, legal and moral responsibilities for climate change, China's envoy on climate change negotiation said here Monday.

Huang Huikang, who took over Yu Qingtai as special representative for climate change negotiations of China's Foreign Ministry, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that developed nations should stop shifting focus from their promises and pledges on climate change.

"In the past 200 years, developed countries have caused a large accumulation of carbon dioxide due to their mode of production and way of life -- the historical responsibility is quite clear in this regard," he said.

Huang, who leads the Chinese delegation under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), came to Bonn for the third round of UN climate talks this year, which is scheduled for Aug. 2 to 6.

Huang said that the current climate talks can move in the right direction only if developed countries could take the lead to substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions, living up to the goal proposed by scientists of reducing emission by 40 percent by 2020 on the 1990 level.

"The expectations of the international community are far from being satisfied since industrialized nations are far from reaching a target even lower than 40 percent," he said.

Moreover, developed countries have an obligation to provide adequate, timely financial and technological support for the poorest countries, also the weakest before the disasters caused by climate change, the special representative added.

Huang said many developing countries, including China, have decided to take actions of mitigation and adaptation "to make their own contributions to tackling climate change." Meanwhile, those countries will firmly oppose and reject some countries' attempt to confuse the independent emission cuts of developing countries with the mandatory cuts of developed countries.

"Focus should not be shifted, and the historical, legal and moral responsibility of developed countries should never be avoided," Huang stressed.

As for the Cancun summit in Mexico scheduled for December, Huang expected negotiations could move forward on "some substantive issues," but warned that "one session could not solve the problem once and for all as negotiating is always a long and arduous task."

The Bonn gathering attracted about 4,500 participants from governments, business, environmental organizations and research institutions from nearly 180 countries. They will debate on a new negotiating text and continue to prepare the ground for the year-end ministerial-level Cancun conference.

After Bonn, China's Tianjin will host the fourth round of the negotiation in October, which may be the last chance of negotiating before the Cancun summit.

"China's initiative to host the session reflected the country's sincere willingness of being a responsible and constructive party in climate talks. Currently, hardware and software preparations have basically been completed, and China will build a good atmosphere and provide high-quality service, expecting the meeting would contribute considerably to Cancun," he said.

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