China Tells United States to Do More on Climate Change

China told the United States on Wednesday to make stronger commitments on climate change and provide environmental expertise and financing to developing nations.

China’s top climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, acknowledged the current U.S. administration’s greater stress on greenhouse gas reductions, but said its pledges thus far fall short of expectations.

“So we hope the United States will do more … we hope the United States will not shift the responsibility for taking more active action to other countries,” Xie told a news conference on the sidelines of China’s annual legislative session.

Xie said he understands that legislation has to work its way through the U.S. Congress and said Beijing wanted dialogue to achieve “fruitful results” at a climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, in December.

“We’re willing to have such dialogue and cooperation and join with the rest of the international community in making positive progress,” Xie said.

President Barack Obama has struggled to gain passage of a bill that would commit the United States to reducing greenhouse gases by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and to paying a “fair share” into a fund to help developing countries deal with climate change.

China, the world’s largest emitter of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, has said it will cut its “carbon intensity” – a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production – by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Brazil, South Africa, India and China – the bloc of large developing nations known as BASIC -have called for developed countries to quickly begin handing over an initial $10 billion pledged at last December’s Copenhagen climate change conference to poor countries to help them deal with the effects of global warming.

At Copenhagen, many developed countries had hoped the Kyoto Protocol, which only requires emissions cuts of rich countries, would be replaced with an accord that also makes demands on developing nations.

Instead, the U.S., EU and BASIC countries brokered a deal requiring poor countries to propose voluntary actions. Rich countries also vowed to provide $30 billion in emergency climate aid to poor nations in the next three years, and set a goal of eventually channeling $100 billion a year to them by 2020.