China says no emissions checks without foreign funds

BEIJING Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:00am EST

A chimney stack billows smoke in front of an apartment block covered with air-conditioning units in central Beijing November 25, 2009. REUTERS/David Gray

A chimney stack billows smoke in front of an apartment block covered with air-conditioning units in central Beijing November 25, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A top Chinese climate envoy said Friday only emissions curbs carried out under its newly announced carbon intensity targets that have international financial support will be open to outside scrutiny.

Yu Qingtai, China's climate change ambassador, added that most of the country's emissions-curbing plans would likely not fall into the category of "measurable, reportable and verifiable."

The phrase, agreed in international talks three years ago, implies third-party checks would be made on any reported reductions.

"Actions would be measurable, reportable and verifiable if (international) support is measurable, reportable and verifiable," Yu told reporters at a briefing.

"If you look at the magnitude of the measures that were announced yesterday, I would assume only a very small proportion would come under this particular provision.

"You cannot apply the same kind of standards for actions that we take on our own, with our own resources, (as you do) for actions that we take with international support."

China announced Thursday that it would cut 2005 carbon intensity levels -- the amount of CO2 produced per unit of GDP growth -- by 40-45 percent by 2020.

The move boosted hopes for an agreement on a new pact to fight climate change at U.N.-led talks in Copenhagen next month.

China, however, has emphasized that the target is a voluntary, domestically binding policy goal, raising the specter of a dispute at Copenhagen over whether and how reported Chinese emissions reductions will be checked.

Beijing insists that rich, industrialized countries should continue bearing most of the burden in reducing greenhouse gases and that developing nations like China and India must not be subject to mandatory emission reduction targets in any new deal.

China also said any new accord should include more financial and technological support for developing countries.

(Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison, writing by David Stanway, Editing by Ron Popeski)

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