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Why Tianjin?

Prior to the Tianjin conference on climate change, one of China's top negotiators said that developed countries were hoping the meeting would fail to go forward and that it was because of the efforts made byChina that the conference was going ahead smoothly.

Li Gao is international policy and negotiations director of the National Development and Reform Commission's department of climate change and senior negotiator. In a one-off forum with NGOs and the media in Beijing, he said that at last year's Copenhagen meeting, no plans had been made for this year's conference, resulting in several months of chaos earlier this year. Futhermore, he said that developed countries were unenthusiastic about the main channels of negotiation and did not wish to have multilateral discussions. In the end, this conference was held because of active promotion by the BASIC countries.

Li Gao said that in the past, such meetings have been paid for by developed countries, and even if the host was a developing country, developed nations would donate money. But this year, developed countries did not want to hold the conference and did not want to put up the money. He said: "Developed countries hoped the conference would fail and developing countries like China would not come forward, which would put an end to negotiations." In order to push negotiations forward, China decided to host the meeting in Tianjin in October.

In China's 20 years of negotiations, this is the first time the country has hosted a conference that involves treaty protocol.

Finding a big place big enough to host the conference was not easy, said Li Gao. Events cannot all be held in Beijing, so the Chinese government contacted areas such as Wuhan, Hangzhou and Dalian, but none of them worked out. Some cities did not have the right facilities, while others had the facilities but no availability. Finally, Tianjin made the sacrifice. A booking at the Meijiang International Convention and Exhibition Centre was moved to make way for the climate-change conference. 

The week of October 1 to 7 is a national holiday. Once this conference began, the entire holiday would be written off, and so China proposed that the meeting start after October 7. But due to conflicts with other meetings, they were forced to adjust the plan, which meant calling off the holidays for the Chinese delegation and the Tianjin hosts. "Everything we do shows we are following the main channels of negotiations for treaty protocols and continually moving forward with political will," Li Gao said.

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gaidee

奥运、世博和气候变化会议

看看正在上海如火如荼展开的世博会,以及取得巨大成功的奥运会,再比较一下这个“步履艰难”的天津气候变化大会,我们有限的、高级的中外对话读者能够得出一个再简单不过的结论,那就是,领导不重视。领导不重视说明什么呢,这个事情不重要,或者是相关部门的说服力不够、能力不强。对于只有十几条枪(据说是秘密,只是猜测)的气候司来说,也确实是心有余而力不足吧。搞招待我们向来是强项,这么点人来到中国,理应不算什么。现在看来,这个坎昆会议,结局会是什么咱们也能猜个八九不离十吧。

Olympics, World Expo and Climate Change Conference

Take a look at the Shanghai World Expo that is in full swing, as well as the extremely successful Olympics and then compare it with the "difficult steps" of the Climate Change Conference in Tianjin. The diverse readers of chinadialogue can come up with a simple conclusion, and that is that leaders are not concerned. What does this mean? That this situation is not important or the persuasive power and capabilities of related departments are not enough. For the Climate Secretary that only has a few dozen guns (said to be a secret and is just a guess), is indeed beyond their grasp. Hospitality has always been one of our strengths and with the small number of people coming to China, it shouldn't be a big deal. With the current situation, it seems we can pretty much guess the outcome of the Cancun conference.

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gaidee

阴谋和耐性、耐力

我不喜欢气候变化的阴谋论调,不过阴谋论既然广受大家欢迎,而且现在看来,越来越像西方的阴谋,那么我从另外一个角度来看看这个阴谋。

受气候变化影响最大的都是些穷国、穷人,这真是对人类文明绝大的嘲讽,某种意义上也预示了我们只有死路一条。今年,在新西兰发生了地震,在巴基斯坦发生了洪水灾害,前者据说没死一个人,后者呢,死伤无数,现在还在嗷嗷待哺。新西兰的地震不可谓不强烈也,但是别人没死人;巴基斯坦的洪水呢,当然也很大,有死伤很正常。问题是,看看这两个国家的经济实力,我们是不是可以得出一个小小的结论,实际上就是穷国目前期许提高的是应对自然灾害的能力,而不是空谈什么国际之合作和资金以及技术之转移。因为目前还没办法区分什么灾害是由于富国的历史排放太高所致,还是大家都是从犯。发达国家发了善心的人给你捐款捐物,但那不是别人的法律义务。这么样拖下去实在不是办法,因为啊,你想啊,有钱人扛得住,穷人来个几下暴风骤雨就歇菜了。

我倒是觉得这有可能是西方的“阴谋”,既然你们不急,那就等到你自己急的时候,再来谈谈,也许更凑效。

Conspiracy and patience, endurance

I don't like the climate change conspiracy argument, but since everyone so widely welcomes this conspiracy theory and it looks as though it is becoming more and more like a western conspiracy, I will look at it from a different perspective.

Affected most by climate change are poor countries and poor people. This is very ironic for human civilisation, and in a way indicates that we are at a dead end. This year, there was an earthquake in New Zealand and a flooding disaster in Pakistan. Although no one died in the former, in the latter, casualties were countless, and they are still starving. The earthquake in New Zealand was strong but no one died. The flood in Pakistan was of course also big and having casualties is normal. The problem is, looking at the economic strength of these two countries, we can make a small conclusion that in fact, poor countries are expected to improve their ability to deal with natural disasters, yet not idly talk about international cooperation, funding and technology transfer. Because there is no way to distinguish between which disasters are a result of historically high emissions from wealthy countries, everyone is an accomplice. Developed countries developed and kindhearted people donated money and goods, but that isn't anyone's legal obligation. Dragging it on like this is not the way because if you think about it, wealthy people can hold on, but a few storms and the poor will lose.

I actually think that this is a western "conspiracy," but since this doesn't bother you, then I'll wait until it does and we can talk about it. Perhaps then it will be more effective.

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scullymeng

政府力量

这让我想起了今天关于技术转移的边会上,一位中国环保部的官员向日本谈判官员提议,日本政府从掌握技术的企业买来技术,然后贡献给发展中国家。他说,他肯定中国政府愿意以同样的方式给日本贡献先进技术。

而日本人回答,这种直接给钱的机制得慎重考虑。

The strength of government

This reminds me that in a side-meeting today about technology transfer, a Chinese official from the Ministry of Environmental Protection suggested to a Japanese negotiator that the Japanese government could buy in technology from knowledgeable companies, and then gift it to developing nations. He said that he was certain that the Chinese government would be willing to present Japan with advanced technology using the same method.
The Japanese official's reply was that this type of system, involving direct payment of money, would need to be thought over very carefully.