Climate in focus as Hollande visits China

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CHONGQING: French President Francois Hollande said Monday that Chinese support was “essential” to reaching an effective deal at the forthcoming climate change conference in Paris, as he began a visit to the Asian giant.

In the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, Hollande said he was seeking “a global and ambitious agreement that will allow [global]warming to be limited to two degrees.

“The fight against global warming is a humanitarian issue – how the planet can be preserved – and it is also an issue of considerable economic importance, of what we call green growth.”

China is the world’s largest polluter and will be a key player at the UN conference, which begins on November 30, in the face of disputes over whether developed or developing countries should bear more of the burden for reducing emissions.


Talks have largely stalled over the mechanism for following up on commitments by the 195 attending countries: France is calling for a “legally binding” mechanism with a review every five years, while China has ruled out any kind of punitive system.

Beijing, which was blamed for scuppering a 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, has already promised its carbon dioxide emissions will peak “by around 2030” in a symbolic announcement in June.

The French president’s trip comes hot on the heels of a similar visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was in China last week.

AFP

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