The Chinese delegation to COP26 wants all parties to work together in the same direction to reach consensus on the issues at the heart of the conference and make sure it is a success, the head of the delegation has said.
Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told Xinhua in an interview that the Chinese delegation has held close exchanges with other parties during the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"We hope to contribute to the success of the conference through constructive communication and consultation," he said.
The two-week conference was scheduled to conclude on Friday, but is likely to extend into the weekend due to unresolved issues.
In particular, developed countries need to take seriously the concerns of developing countries over such core issues as finance and adaptation. They must also strive to deliver on promises made a long time ago, to enhance mutual trust and ensure the success of COP26, Zhao said.
Financial support has been the main issue of concern for developing countries.
During the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009, developed countries promised 100 billion U.S. dollars a year to help developing nations strengthen their resilience to climate change by 2020.
"Twelve years on, the developed countries have failed to honor their commitments, which has tremendously jeopardized political mutual trust," Zhao said.
It is "very unreasonable and unfair" that while developing countries have submitted ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in line with the Paris Agreement, developed countries have failed to deliver financial support. This issue is also affecting the progress of COP26, Zhao said.
The issue of finance is one of the core issues of difficulty that affect the progress of COP26, Zhao said.
"The developed countries have not yet shown their sincerity and confidence in delivering their pledges. Therefore, both sides are still negotiating. It seems that more efforts are still needed."
Apart from finance, the main sticking points in the final phase of negotiations include temperature control targets, adaptation, and the rulebook of the Paris Agreement, Zhao said.
In order to effectively tackle the climate crisis, the parties need to "completely and comprehensively" deliver their promises according to the Paris Agreement, Zhao said. This must be done in line with the principle of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities as well as taking into account national conditions.
"We must realize that climate change has been an imminent challenge, but it must be addressed based on science and rules," Zhao said. These rules are specified in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. "Those are the cornerstones of global effort to tackle climate change, which should not be shaken. Otherwise, it would be hard to achieve our common goal."
On Wednesday, China and the United States released the China-U.S. Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s. It was the result of numerous meetings and consultations between the two sides, and was released at a key moment in the conference.
Zhao said the document had demonstrated cooperation between China and the United States, contributed to the global fight against climate change, and injected positive energy into the UN conference. It was also welcomed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who tweeted:
"I welcome today's agreement between China and the USA to work together to take more ambitious #ClimateAction in this decade. Tackling the climate crisis requires international collaboration and solidarity, and this is an important step in the right direction."
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
The European Union, France and the Czech Republic join forces to strengthen social protection system in Georgia. Signature event allowed the signing parties to start the project and show their common engagement in improving access to social protection and the extension of social rights and coverage of the Georgian population.
Tbilisi, 10 November 2021 – Today, a signature event took place at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia to mark the beginning of the EU-project, implemented by Expertise France (Agence Française de Développement Group − AFD Group) and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA), with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (MoIDPHLSP).
Their Excellencies, Mr. Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia and Mr. Diego Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, and Mr. Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation attended the signature event. Ms. Tamila Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia presented her ministry’s perspective, followed by with a short presentation of the project.
“Social protection goes back to the core values of the European Union. In a democracy, it is all of our responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable members of society to make sure that everyone can be part of social life and the democratic process. This is especially relevant in times of COVID-19, where many people need additional support and protection. We are, therefore, proud to launch this new project together with our Team Europe partners and look forward to many positive steps over the coming years”, stated Mr. Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
Mr. Colas, Ambassador of France to Georgia, stated that “there is a global alliance between the French and Czech Development Agencies and I am very happy that this finds an application here in Georgia. We strongly support the choice of the Georgian people and of successive governments to build a strong, dynamic, European democracy in Georgia and it makes sense to do this with another dynamic successful Eastern European democracy such as the Czech Republic. The implementation of this joint project, to strengthen the delivery of social services and work towards the social code, will be a key aspect of this broader democracy and institution building agenda”,.
“Development of the Social Code is a key reform that will direct Georgia towards establishment of effective social welfare management system, including decentralization of provision of social protection. Czech Development Agency is happy to join the forces with Expertise France and move a long-term successful partnership with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to a new level.”, said Mr. Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia.
“By elaborating the Social Code, we aim at creating broader perspective of social welfare. Our goal is to guarantee that Georgian citizens are protected from social risks from childhood to old age. Therefore, relevant healthcare and social protection systems and mechanisms need to be developed. This will be a big step forward towards European and international Standards“, stated Ms. Barkalaia, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
About the project
The project Strengthening Social Protection in Georgia aims at supporting the Government of Georgia and state organizations in improving social services, evidence-based policy making and extending social protection rights. The project will last 24 months with implementing partners Expertise France and Czech Development Agency.
The project will focus on three components. The first component will improve access and delivery of social services and remittances from Social Service Agency (SSA) and at local level. The second component of the project will support better analysis of information and the creation of communication materials around social rights and promotion of social work. The third component will support the Ministry in the elaboration of the social code in extending social rights in Georgia through a collaborative and inclusive process, following evidence-based policy and legislation proposals.
The project is now officially launched and is in its inception phase. The first action of the project will be to identify key policies and strategies for improving delivery and access to social protection services in Georgia.