President Nicolas Sarkozy calls on China to join global 'New Deal' on environment

27th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2007, BEIJING - French President Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday urged China, one of the world's major polluters, to join in a worldwide "ecological and economic New Deal" to fight global warming.

27 November 2007

BEIJING - French President Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday urged China, one of the world's major polluters, to join in a worldwide "ecological and economic New Deal" to fight global warming.

"I propose that China join a new global contract for an ecological and economic New Deal," Sarkozy told students at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University on the third and final day of a visit to the capital.

This New Deal "must be implemented quickly, thoroughly and over a long period, cover the modes of production and energy consumption and conform to (China's) size and might."

China's economy has boomed at nearly double-digit rates over much of the past 25 years. This has made it the world's second-largest oil importer and one of the globe's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming.

Sarkozy's remarks come as the global community prepares for talks in Bali next month on a new pact on climate change to replace the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

"Your nation can take this strategic decision," Sarkozy said. "We are not asking you to give up your development... you can make this development an example for the world."

China signed up to Kyoto, but as a developing nation it was not required to take on any obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

This is expected to change with the new round of negotiations, with many believing Beijing must curb its fossil fuel burning and its huge dependence on coal, one of the dirtiest energy sources.

Sarkozy also urged China to work with France for a "global response" to climate change, while warning of the dramatic consequences of rising temperatures.

The "New Deal" was a package of policies taken on by US president Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s to help the United States overcome economic depression following the 1929 crash of the New York stock market.

AFP

Subject: French news

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