- Title: CHINA: All eyes on China as Copenhagen summit kicks off
- Date: 8th December 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 36-YEAR-OLD BEIJING RESIDENT LI YUJIANG, SAYING: "At the moment, if you talk about fair or unfair, what we need more is to cooperate. Of course because of their high level of economic development, if they can set a good example, more resources, developed countries have developed faster so if they can help developing countries with modern technology to make our emissions smaller, this would be good for developing countries." VARIOUS OF OLD MAN READING NEWSPAPER PEOPLE GETTING OFF BUS WOMAN WEARING FACE MASK AND STANDING AT BUS STATION PEOPLE WALKING ON BRIDGE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BEIJING RESIDENT MR. HE SAYING "From a long term prospective, Copenhagen might help with Beijing's air pollution. But this air pollution didn't come in one day, so you cannot get rid of it in a short time." SUN AND CHIMNEY EMITTING SMOKE TRAFFIC SMOKE IN FRONT OF SUN LASENGMIAO TOWN, WUHAI CITY, INNER MONGOLIA AUTONOMOUS REGION, CHINA (DECEMBER 7, 2009) (REUTERS) LAMA MONK PRAYING AT LASHENG TEMPLE SHRINE MONK PRAYING BUDDHA IDOL MONK PRAYING INCENSE STICK BURNING BUDDHA IDOL FACE MONK WALKING OUT OF TEMPLE FACTORIES IN VALLEY BELOW TEMPLE VARIOUS OF MONK STANDING LOOKING OUT OVER VALLEY FACTORIES IN VALLEY (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) LAMA MONK, QING FUMING SAYING "It's polluted here. Behind you have chemical factories and limestone factories and in the front we have the power plant, cement factories, etc. That causes most of the pollution." SMOKE RISING FROM CHIMNEY FACTORIES IN VALLEY MONK WALKING OUTSIDE TEMPLE FACTORIES IN VALLEY
- Embargoed: 24th December 2009 01:01
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations,Nature / Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA4FHTRKM66J91B3RV24UO0S3IF
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: After two years of work, and 12 years after their last attempt, 190 nations gather in the Danish capital on Monday (December 7) to try to avert dramatic climate change -- what one minister called "the most difficult talks ever embarked upon by humanity."
The sheer size of the measures needed, and splits between rich and poor countries about who should pay, mean that a historic U.N. pact to fight global warming and ease dependence on fossil fuels may be put off in favour of a less binding "declaration."
The Copenhagen conference runs from Dec. 7-18 and will draw 15,000 officials, campaigners and journalists, making it the biggest climate summit yet.
All the top emitters, led by China and the United States, have pledged to curb emissions.
Coal-dependent China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, said last month it would cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each yuan of national income by 40-45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.
Depending on economic growth projections, total emissions will still rise.
Residents in Beijing said they hope the meeting will bring about concrete results.
"I hope through this summit, they can raise some more substantial proposals that can be implemented. It shouldn't be like having a lot of meetings and making a lot of proposals, but in the end nothing concrete comes out of it. I think that would be a waste of time and energy," said Beijing resident Bai Xiaohui.
Some people echoed their government's stance and called for developed countries to shoulder more responsibilities.
"At the moment, if you talk about fair or unfair, what we need more is to cooperate. Of course because of their high level of economic development, if developed countries can set a good example, put more investment in curbing carbon emissions and pass on more high technology that can be used to produce equipment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This would be of much greater benefit to developing countries," said another Beijing resident 36-year-old Li Yujiang.
China has, in the past, insisted that developed nations, which have grown rich by burning fossil fuels, must make far deeper cuts in their own emissions by 2020 before expecting the poor to sign up for curbing emissions.
In the Chinese capital, officials lavished 120 billion yuan ($17.6 billion) last year ahead of the Summer Olympic Games on cleaning up the city.
They bragged about over 130 "blue-sky" days in the first half of this year, the highest level in a decade.
However, residents said air pollution could still be bad.
"In the long term, (the Copenhagen Summit) may have a positive effect. But in the short term, there won't be a great change. I think this air pollution wasn't made in one day. If you want to remedy it, I don't think you can do it within a short term. Perhaps you need a long time," said another citizen Mr. He.
Most Chinese air pollution standards are outside World Health Organisation guidelines. Moreover, experts say that the pollution index the Chinese government uses to tell citizens whether the air is safe -- a "blue sky" day -- is seriously flawed.
It only uses average measurements across the capital, so some spots could have dangerous levels even when overall readings say it is safe to venture out. And some hazardous pollutants are not included in the index, experts say.
For decades, there were few fetters on the waste that factories, plants and power stations in China pumped into the air and the water.
As a result, parts of the country are now blighted by pollution, a problem which is becoming increasingly widespread following the rapid growth that has made China the world's third-largest economy.
Monk Qing Fuming has spent years living in a Lama temple in Lasenmiao, a small town in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Chimneys at a power plant down the valley from the temple churn out smoke into the already smoggy sky every day.
"It's polluted here. Behind you have chemical factories and limestone factories and in the front we have the power plant, cement factories, etc. That causes most of the pollution," said Qing.
The never-ceasing stream of pollution from nearby industries is beginning to bear serious effects.
Many people in Lasenmiao have respiratory diseases, and more and more locals are affected by cancer, the monk said.
As delegates meet in Copenhagen to try to work out a new global deal to replace provisions for the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012, millions of people all over the world are waiting eagerly for any positive results.
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