China’s top climate change negotiator has said the world’s biggest carbon polluter has no intention of capping greenhouse gas emissions for the time being, state media reported on Thursday.
Su Wei, who led China’s negotiating team at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December, said the country’s carbon emissions had to increase because the economy was still developing, the China Daily said. China “could not and should not” set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current stage, Su told a meeting on climate change policy in Beijing on Wednesday.
However, he said China was committed to making its economy more energy-efficient.
Beijing has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity — the measure of greenhouse-gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product — by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020 based on 2005 levels. Su said the pledge would be a binding part of China’s next two five-year economic development plans.
His remarks came a day after President Hu Jintao told a high-level Communist Party meeting that China must “recognise the importance, urgency and difficulty of dealing with climate change”. Britain and other countries have accused Beijing of vetoing attempts to give legal force to an agreement at the Copenhagen talks in December and blocking an agreement on reductions in global emissions.
China has said it was never planning to accept outside reviews of its efforts to slow greenhouse gas emissions at the talks in Denmark.