Pedestrians wear masks during a heavy smog day in Shanghai. (Photo/China Daily)
China 'will reflect views of developing countries to the developed world'
China will continue to play a bridging role between developing and developed countries during the ongoing climate talks in Paris, according to the country's top climate negotiator. [Special coverage]
This role will enable it to seek so-called landing zones for the thorniest issues under a multilateral approach, the negotiator said.
Delegations from 196 countries agreed on a 48-page draft text in Paris on Saturday－a more succinct version compared with the first one of nearly 100 pages reached early this year in Geneva, Switzerland, according to negotiators.
The two-week climate conference is scheduled to enter a higher level from Monday as ministers start to review sensitive differences and narrow down options for the final draft.
Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative for climate change and head of the Chinese delegation to Paris, said the country is in a position to play a bridging role in reflecting the opinions of developing countries to developed nations as a member of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries and the G77 plus China.
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing countries.
Observers said the new draft is a shorter and clearer version, but sticking points remain, including on financing and transparency.
China's chief climate negotiator Su Wei said of the upcoming negotiations: "The toughest work ahead is to prepare a table of French cuisine catering for the tastes of all parties, with the raw ingredients in place.
"It's obvious to all that China has been playing an active and constructive role during the first week of the Paris climate talks, which was rather tough."
A host of joint announcements made by China and countries including the United States, France, Brazil and India said attempts had been made to find "landing zones" to solve major differences in the negotiations.
Xie said: "The Chinese delegation will continue to play a constructive role and try to coordinate with all the parties. We are confident of a successful outcome.
"But I must emphasize that the negotiations should still follow the multilateral principles, and the final goal and a consensus should be reached through an open, transparent and inclusive approach."
The new draft is a package consisting of a legally binding agreement and nonbinding decisions.
Many differences remain over the text. For example, one issue is the five-year time frame for a "stocktaking approach" to assess national commitments to combating climate change.
Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute, said the new draft has clearer options and indicates more common ground. "Although there is plenty of hard work ahead, the table is now set for ministers to get this done."
Observers said all the hard decisions have still to be made and they are hoping that negotiators can avoid diluting the text into weaker language.
Li Shuo, senior climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, said the talks have reached a "crunch time" and negotiators should pursue "enhanced ambitions".