China supports the proposal that developed countries compensate developing countries, especially those most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, for the loss and damage they suffer because of global climate change, Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate change, said on Wednesday.
The topic of "loss and damage" has for the first time been included in the main agenda for discussion during the ongoing 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Egypt's coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Many developing countries have been arguing that they emit a fraction of greenhouse gases compared with industrialized countries, but are disproportionately impacted by the consequences of global climate change.
"China, as a developing country, is very supportive of 'loss and damage' proposed by other developing countries, as we have been subject to the impact of extreme climate and are fully aware of the feelings of countries vulnerable to climate change," Xie said at a news conference at COP27, adding he is glad to see that the topic is on the agenda of this year's session.
"We support the idea of establishing a special fund to address loss and damage," he said. "Various parties need to join efforts to find a proper way for financing through negotiation."
Countries at different stages of development have common but different responsibilities in addressing the "loss and damage" issue, Xie said, adding that China — although it has no need to compensate for loss and damage — would like to cooperate with other developing countries to help them with climate change mitigation and adaptation.
During COP27, many African leaders have called for more financing from developed countries to help the continent fight climate change. Although it is responsible for less than 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, Africa is the continent worst impacted by climate change, with ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa threatening millions of lives.
"Loss and damage is not an abstract topic of endless dialogue: It is our daily experience and the living nightmare of millions of Kenyans and hundreds of millions of Africans," William Ruto, president of Kenya, said during the conference.
"Loss and damage must therefore be addressed with a level of seriousness, which demonstrates fairness, urgency and consideration."
Xie also urged developed countries to fulfill their promise of providing $100 billion to developing countries every year as soon as possible to help them fight climate change.
"Developed countries pledged to provide $100 billion every year in Copenhagen in 2009, but the commitment has not been honored 13 years later," he said, adding a financing gap of $260 billion has accumulated over the past 13 years.
"In addition, to honor the $100 billion pledge, a road map should be released on repaying the debt of $260 billion and increasing financing further after 2025 for developing countries," Xie said.
Addressing the conference's Climate Implementation Summit on Tuesday, Xie said China has been actively tackling climate change through persistent and pragmatic actions.
"China's firm determination and position to implement the goals of reaching carbon peak and achieving carbon neutrality, and to actively participate in global climate governance will never change," Xie said.