12 November 2007 – A Chinese official gave the clearest sign yet that Beijing will reject binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions at a global meeting next month, saying that developing countries must be allowed to raise emissions to fight poverty.
“Climate change is caused mainly by developed countries,” Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said. “They should have the main responsibility for climate change and to reduce emissions.”
China is about to overtake the United States as the world’s top greenhouse-gas producer. It is under pressure from Washington to accept binding limits at a meeting in Indonesia of environment ministers from 80 nations to discuss a possible replacement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on emission reductions.
“Most developing countries are in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and they face the arduous task of poverty reduction,” Zhang said. “So they need a large period of time for continuous energy demand growth with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.”