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China to meet greenhouse gas targets

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BEIJING: China will work to achieve its existing greenhouse gas targets and strive to do better as the challenges of climate change become more urgent, Mr Xie Zhenhua, the country's top climate envoy, said at a briefing yesterday.

"I believe the promises we make will be 100 per cent completed and we will strive to do better," said Mr Xie, speaking to reporters before a new round of climate talks in Katowice, Poland, on how to implement the 2015 Paris agreement.

"Although we have encountered a lot of difficulties, a lot of problems, our targets and our resolution will not change," he added.

China, the world's biggest source of climate-warming carbon dioxide, has pledged to halt its rise in emissions by "around 2030" through cleaner forms of energy, boosting efficiency and encouraging high-technology industries.

However, researchers have suggested that China's emissions already reached a peak of 9.53 gigatonnes in 2013 and declined in the three years that followed, suggesting Beijing's targets were too conservative.

US President Donald Trump said last year that he would pull out of the 2015 agreement, arguing it was too lenient on China.

Mr Xie said Mr Trump's decision to withdraw hurt the confidence and resolution of many other countries, but its impact was beginning to wane, and China's commitments were unbending.

China has already met a target to cut carbon intensity and it is also on course to bring the share of non-fossil fuels to 15 per cent of total energy consumption by the end of the decade, Mr Xie said. - REUTERS