By Ed King
China’s Vice-President Li Keqiang has called on COP18 hosts Qatar to take up the cause of developing nations at the forthcoming climate talks in Doha.
In particular Li emphasised China’s determination that negotiations relating to the Bali Roadmap, which take place in a working group named ‘Long-Term Cooperative Action’ (LCA) are completed in a satisfactory fashion.
Speaking after a meeting with COP18 President Abdullah Bin Hamam Al-Attiyah in Beijing, Li told the Xinhua news agency he was confident Qatar understood his point of view.
“With the Doha climate change conference months away, we expect Qatar to play a positive role in obtaining substantive results from negotiations regarding the Bali Roadmap,” he said.
Li stressed China’s commitment to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility“, which underpins the UN climate change convention (UNFCCC) but is often the subject of heated debate.
He also called on developed countries to ‘substantially’ cut carbon emissions and ‘honour commitments’ on climate finance.
Li’s comments will be familiar to most observers of the UN climate talks.
Many developing country governments argue that the LCA is closing prematurely, as it has a lot of unfinished business and unfulfilled promises, particularly on issues related to finance and the science review, which aims to ensure that the negotiation process is informed by the latest science.
The developed country position remains that the LCA must close in Doha. A potential clash in Doha between the two trains of thought may be avoided if Parties are assured that some of their unfinished business will have a way forward in the post-Durban world.
A key goal for the Doha talks will be to see a new round of fast-start finance agreed, together with the implementation of existing commitments.
A goal to raise $100 billion per year from 2020 onwards was agreed at COP16 in Cancun, although many developed states who are feeling the effects of the world recession are now backing away from this pledge.