8 november 2008

Wen tells west to boost climate efforts
By Geoff Dyer in Beijing

The developed world should abandon its “unsustainable lifestyle” and do more to help poor nations adapt to climate change, Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, said on Friday.

“It took developed countries several decades to solve the problems of saving energy and cutting emissions, while China has to solve the same problem in a much shorter period. So the difficulty is unprecedented,” Mr Wen said at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Beijing on climate change.

“Developed countries shoulder the duty and responsibility to tackle climate change and should alter their unsustainable lifestyle,” he said.

The comments reflect the more assertive tone that China has been taking in discussions about climate change, especially given the expectation that a Barack Obama administration will shift the position of the US.

The slowdown in the global economy caused by the financial crisis should not be allowed to hamper efforts to deal with global warming, said Mr Wen, and more technology should be transferred to poorer countries.


Last month, a senior Chinese official raised the stakes in continuing talks about climate change when he called on developed countries to contribute as much as 1 per cent of their gross domestic product to a fund that would help poor nations adapt to the challenges of global warming.

In the past, China had suggested that funding of about 0.5 per cent of GDP was needed. However, the financial crisis has made it much less likely that rich countries would be willing to provide generous funding for climate change initiatives.

Read the full article in the Financial Times of November 8, 2008.

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