December 7, 2009 / 9:55 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX-China's climate stance at Copenhagen

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Negotiators meet in Copenhagen from Monday for a U.N. conference seeking to create a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N.-backed pact governing countries’ actions against climate change up to end of 2012.

Here are some details about China’s stance at the talks, what the country has already promised to do to cut emissions and what it would like to see offered by developed nations:

* China says it is threatened by global warming and the shrinking glaciers, expanding deserts, prolonged droughts and more intense storms predicted to come with a warming world.

* China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases from human activity. In 2008, its output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, reached 6.8 billion metric tonnes, a rise of 178 percent over levels in 1990, according to the IWR, a German renewable energy institute. U.S. emissions rose 17 percent over that time to 6.4 billion tonnes.

* But China’s average greenhouse gas emissions per person are much lower than those of rich nations. The average American is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions equal to 25.0 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, compared to 5.8 tonnes for the average Chinese, according to the World Resources Institute.

* China says global warming has been overwhelmingly caused by the accumulated greenhouse gas emissions of rich economies, and they should lead in dramatically cutting emissions, giving poor countries room to develop and expand emissions in coming decades.

China has previously said that those emissions cuts should be 25 to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020, but more recently it has been coy about specific numbers. [ID:nSP461664]

* China says industrialised nations should also transfer much more green technology to poorer nations, and has demanded that they commit up to one percent of their economic worth to helping poor nations fight global warming. [ID:nPEK156578] Here, too, Chinese officials have recently been vaguer on specific numbers.

* Last month, China said it would cut its carbon intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of GDP — by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. [ID:nPEK421] This target will still allow emissions to grow substantially over the next decade as the economy continues expanding. This goal was the first measurable curb on national emissions in China.

* China has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. As a developing country, China is not required by the protocol to set binding targets to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States and other countries have said China and other big developing nations should accept more specific goals and oversight in the successor to Kyoto. But China has said that, as a developing country, its emissions goals should not be binding under any international treaty. [ID:nPEK7497] (Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Chris Buckley)

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