Obama, Zhang meet at UN

Updated: 2014-09-24 06:36

By ZHANG YUWEI at the United Nations(China Daily USA)

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Obama, Zhang meet at UN
Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli speaks during the Climate Summit at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. [Photo / Agencies]

China will continue to share international responsibilities to address the climate change issue, including increasing efforts to peak greenhouse gas levels and increasing financial aid to the South South Cooperation, said a senior Chinese leader at the United Nations Climate Change Summit on Tuesday.

"We will announce post-2020 actions on climate change as soon as we can, which will bring about marked progress in reducing carbon intensity, increasing the share of non-fossil fuels and raising the forest stock," said Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.

The action plan will also take China - the world's most populous and largest developing country - to the peak of its total CO2 emissions as early as possible, said Zhang.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping's climate change envoy, Zhang said the world's No 2 economy is ready to work with other countries on combating this global issue.

"This is not at others' request but on our own initiative," he said.

Observers say that Zhang's speech sent a promising sign and showed China's continuing commitment to this issue.

"China's remarks at the Climate Summit go further than ever before," said Jennifer Morgan, director of Climate and Energy Programs at Washington-based World Resources Institute. "Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli's announcement to strive to peak emissions ‘as early as possible' is a welcome signal for the cooperative action we need for the Paris Agreement."

"Peaking emissions is vital to curb climate change and to rein in dangerous air pollution," said Morgan.

Speaking before Zhang at the same session, US President Barack Obama said the US and China have a "special responsibility" to lead efforts in tackling climate change as the world's two largest economies.

Obama and Zhang met on the sidelines of the summit before they made their speeches.