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China a leader in tackling climate change: UN climate official
August 29,2017   By:Xinhua

August 29, 2017 -- China's leadership in tackling climate change has encouraged many countries to address the issue, a United Nations (UN) climate official said Monday.

"We have seen an emerging and growing leadership of China in terms of clean technologies, and different initiatives they have taken nationally in order to accelerate the transformation of the Chinese society," said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Espinosa is on a three-day visit to China, her first to the country as a UN climate official.

She called China "one of the most important leaders" in tackling global climate change, noting that the country has made positive efforts in line with its green development concept, which the UN very much welcomes.

"China has translated it into actions, which is no doubt a source of inspiration for other countries," she told Xinhua.

China has made headway in cutting emissions and fighting climate change in recent years. Last year, the country cut its carbon intensity, the measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP, by 6.6 percent, surpassing its goal of 3.9 percent.

The government has promised to reduce its carbon intensity by 18 percent, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 15 percent, by 2020 from 2016.

China also signed the Paris Agreement in April 2016, giving a strong push to international efforts against global warming.

The 23rd UN Climate Change Conference is to be held in Bonn, Germany from Nov. 6 to 17, defining the guideline for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Espinosa expressed regret over the U.S. intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but said it is encouraging that other national authorities have ambitious climate goals.

She said she hopes to discuss China's successes and concerns in its climate action with the country's leaders during her visit.