China Pledges to be More Active in Post-Kyoto Climate Mechanism

Agreed to proactive stance with talks with Japan

China has pledged to actively participate in a new international framework to deal with climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires, a Japanese official said Sept. 6. China, the world's number-two emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, did not have to agree to specific targets on reducing emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. But Japan said Beijing had agreed to a more proactive stance in a post-Kyoto framework during a meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Sydney.

"We asked the Chinese foreign minister to engage in active participation in the post-Kyoto Protocol mechanism after 2012," Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Mitsuo Sakaba said. "Mr. Yang responded very positively to this appeal by Japan."

Sakaba said that China expressed optimism at the meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic conference in Sydney that a UN meeting on climate change due to be held in Bali in December would produce a positive result. "The Chinese foreign minister said that the Chinese government wishes to cooperate with Japan in order to produce a positive outcome at the Bali meeting in December," he said. The UN will attempt to draw up a roadmap on global warming to take effect when Kyoto runs out.

Chinese leader Hu Jintao earlier expressed the opinion that the UN "should remain the main channel for the international effort to tackle climate change." The comment was seen as a rebuff to countries such as Australia and the U.S., which have rejected Kyoto and are proposing a post-2012 model that shares the burden for reducing emissions more evenly between developed and developing nations.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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