India, China should organise high-level summit on climate change: Expert

November 14th, 2007 - 10:38 am ICT by admin  

Professor Kiang, the founding dean of the College of Environmental Science at the University of Beijing, proposed this idea while pointing out that in the G8 plus Five, the developing countries were only observers and there is a need for a more equitable formula.

Kiang, who has also served as a atmospheric scientist in the US, said that any agreement was unlikely to be met with the negotiating forum of the “G8 plus Five” - the rich countries of the G8 bloc in climate change talks, with the five leading developing nations– China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico.

The professor, who is in London to attend the Be The Change environmental conference, told The Independent that no agreement would be possible for China to cut its soaring carbon dioxide emissions until after next year’s US election.

Pointing out that President George Bush’s withdrawal of the US from Kyoto in 2001, with the abandonment of US climate targets, has been a major block to developing countries, Professor Kiang, however, expressed the hope that “by 2009-10, we might see light at the end of the tunnel.”

However, he added, no agreement was likely at next month’s major international meeting in Bali, Indonesia, of the parties to the protocol, which will seek to define the way forward in the treaty.

China would be very unlikely to set its own unilateral target for reducing CO2, said Professor Kiang. He added that the country would join in the next, post-2012 stage of the Kyoto protocol, the international climate change treaty, and seek to reduce their emissions to a definite figure, as long as this was part of a global agreement that involved all countries acting together, including the US.

Asserting that the Chinese leadership was fully aware of the global warming threat and the need to combat it, he said Chinese President Hu Jintao had spoken at the Communist Party Conference last month of the need to build an “ecological civilisation.”

He said that though the 11th five-year plan, which began last year, has a target to cut pollution nationwide by 10 per cent, but to make major changes was difficult.

“China has spent 30 years concentrating on economic growth, without paying much attention to the environment,” said the professor, adding that the government did not centrally control the new energy infrastructure, and in some ways did not control economic development itself.

“To have people living in harmony with nature is a very ancient Chinese value - but it’s very different from the class struggle of communism. So, it’s not easy when you make such an ideological change. In China, everything is possible, but nothing is easy. You’ve got to know China. They will never ever say no. But their yes - well, that may take some time,” Kiang added. (ANI)

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