In advance of Durban, China pleads poverty as a defense to emissions cuts.
China yesterday staked out familiar territory in the U.N. climate negotiations, arguing that industrialized countries caused global warming and must take the lead in fighting it.
In a white paper published by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, leaders laid out the country’s own carbon-cutting plans and called on other developing countries to do what they can to mitigate climate change, as well. But officials also took pains to cast the Asian economic giant and potential European investor as a struggling nation with a per capita gross domestic product of $4,500.
“By the U.N. standard for poverty, China still has a poverty-stricken population of over 100 million, thus it faces an extremely arduous task in developing its economy, eliminating poverty and improving the people’s livelihood. In the meantime, China is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change,” the report says.