China, France agree on need for climate compliance checks

Workers unload coal at a storage site along a railway station in Hefei, Anhui province.

Workers unload coal at a storage site along a railway station in Hefei, Anhui province.


China and France 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 Monday.

Each signatory’s progress should be reviewed every five years, said the statement, to “reinforce mutual confidence and promote efficient implementation.”

It was issued as visiting President Francois Hollande met his counterpart Xi Jinping.

The conference in Paris, which will be attended by at least 80 world leaders including Xi and U.S. 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 two degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

China is the world’s largest polluter and will be a key player at the event, which begins on November 30, in the face of disputes over whether developed or developing countries should bear more of the burden for reducing emissions.

The joint statement acknowledged the issue, saying that “flexibility should be offered to developing countries who should require it, according to their capacities.”

Hollande said the accord was a “major step” towards an agreement in Paris.

The two also re-iterated that the deal should be legally binding, echoing a joint declaration between the European Union and China in Brussels in June.


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