Paris climate deal: China, France agree on checks

Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanying his French counterpart Francois Hollande (right) as they inspected guards of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanying his French counterpart Francois Hollande (right) as they inspected guards of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China and France have agreed that a deal to tackle climate change expected to be negotiated in Paris should include checks on whether countries were complying with their commitments, they said in a joint statement.

Each signatory's progress should be reviewed every five years, said the statement issued yesterday, as visiting French President Francois Hollande met his counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing, to "reinforce mutual confidence and promote efficient implementation".

"The Paris accord must send a clear signal for the world to engage in a transition towards green, low- carbon development that is sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change," the statement said.

The Paris conference, which will be attended by at least 80 world leaders including Mr Xi and United States President Barack Obama, seeks to unite all the world's nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change, with the goal of capping warming at 2 deg C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

China produces about 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris event, starting on Nov 30, faces disputes over whether developed or developing nations should bear more of the burden for emission cuts. The statement acknowledged the issue, saying "flexibility should be offered to developing countries who should require it, according to their capacities".

Mr Hollande said the accord was a "major step" towards a deal in Paris, where China was "necessary, indispensable" for success. "With this declaration, we have set up conditions which open the way to success and I am minded to believe that an agreement is now possible," he said. "This visit is historic. And I am weighing my words."

The two sides also reiterated the deal should be legally binding, echoing a joint European Union-China declaration in Brussels in June.

In addition to preparatory talks for the United Nations summit, a series of cooperation and trade deals were announced. Mr Xi said he hoped Sino-French ties would "achieve a rich and varied development".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2015, with the headline 'Paris climate deal: China, France agree on checks'. Print Edition | Subscribe