May 13, 2009 / 3:45 AM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX: China's climate change policy

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Wednesday urged rich countries to agree to cut their CO2 emissions by 25-40 percent by 2020 as part of a new global climate change pact that negotiators hope to seal by the end of the year.

Here are some facts about China’s role in climate change policy:

* China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas from human activity, outstripping the United States. The U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has estimated China emitted 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon from burning fossil fuels in 2007, compared to the United States’ 1.6 billion tonnes. But China’s per-capita and historically accumulated emissions remain much lower than those of developed economies.

* China has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N.-backed treaty that spells out countries’ duties in fighting climate change. As a developing country, China is not required by the Protocol to set binding targets to control greenhouse gas emissions. But the United States and other countries have said China should set more specific goals in the successor to Kyoto from 2013.

* China has not set specific domestic targets for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. But it has set energy efficiency goals that officials say show the government’s commitment to tackling CO2 emissions. A 2006-10 plan aims to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent.

* China has said many times global warming has been caused by the greenhouse gas emissions of wealthy economies, and they should take the lead in cutting emissions, giving developing countries room to develop and expand emissions in coming decades.

* China says industrialized nations should transfer much more green technology to poorer nations as part of a new climate change pact, and has urged rich nations to commit one percent of their economic worth to help poor nations fight global warming.

Editing by David Fogarty

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