Historic climate pact adopted at COP21, China vows to take obligations

Updated: 2015-12-13 06:59


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PARIS - The historic Paris agreement on climate change was finally adopted with no objection on Saturday by the 196 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) hosted by France.

"The Paris Climate Conference is a crucial point in the global climate governance process. The outcome has a bearing with the undertaking of climate change of the human being and our future of sustainable development," China's Special Representative on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua said after the adoption of the Paris agreement.

Xie stressed that China, as a responsible developing country, will take international obligations commensurate with its own national condition, development stage and actual capacity.

"Although the agreement is not perfect, it does not stop us from moving a historical step forwards," Xie said, calling on developed countries to abide by their promises to provide finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building to developing countries.

"China is willing to work together with all Parties, in accordance with the principles of the UNFCCC, towards implementing the Paris Agreement and establishing a global climate governance system for win-win cooperation," Xie affirmed.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "what was once unthinkable is now unstoppable", referring to the historic Paris agreement on climate change.

"For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take climate action," Ban said, adding that "the Paris agreement demonstrates solidarity."

"You have concluded not just any agreement, it is an ambitious, universal and legally binding agreement," French President Francois Hollande told the ministers and negotiators from the 196 Parties of the UNFCCC.

"There is no progress with risks, no progress without ordeals. History is written by those who engage, not by those who calculate," he added.

The French head of state also promised that "France will put everything in place to implement the agreement."

"This agreement, we had been waiting for a long time, for 40 years," Hollande said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sees the Paris agreement as "a victory for all the planet and the future generations".

For the executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, "It is an agreement of conviction, of solidarity, of long term vision."

The Paris agreement runs to 32 pages with 29 articles, including objective, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building, and transparency of action and support.

On the basis of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the Paris agreement calls for aiming to hold global average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and strives for limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Taking into account of the needs and priorities of developing countries, the agreement also eyes 100 billion U.S. dollars a year by developed countries for developing countries from 2020.

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC kicked off on Nov. 30, 2015.