BEIJING — China refused to budge Wednesday on its demands that rich nations commit to large greenhouse gas cuts at upcoming climate change talks, while also declining to put a ceiling on its own emissions.
China and other developing nations will call on rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels at negotiations in Copenhagen in December, said Yu Qingtai, China's top climate negotiator.
"We have all along believed that due to the historical responsibility of the developed nations, they must continue to take the lead with large reductions beyond 2012," Yu told reporters.
We "have demanded that developed nations reduce emissions by 40 percent... this is fair and reasonable... China's position has not changed."
The December negotiations are aimed at hammering out a new climate change pact to replace the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012.
As a developing nation with low per-capita emissions, China is not required to set emissions cuts under the UN Framework on Climate Change.
The European Union has said it will slash emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with the 1990 level.
The US Congress is considering legislation that would reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.
China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases along with the United States, has said neither of the cuts are enough.
Yu further called on rich countries to lay out concrete plans to finance technology transfers to help developing nations cut emissions.
His comments came after weeks of discussions between China and the United States on climate change and after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said late last month that Beijing was key to the success of the upcoming talks.
Yu said China is seeking to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010 as part of a plan to address global warming and will set similar targets for the period until 2020.
However, China still has not projected when it will reach its peak of greenhouse gas emissions, he added.
"When China reaches its emission peak will depend on its development stage, per capita GDP, national resources, technological level," Yu said.
"Our experts and competent authorities are studying when China will reach its emission peak."
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