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Annual Review of Chinese Environmental Law Developments: 2009

May 2010

Citation: ELR 10484

Author: Mingqing You and Ke Huang

I. International Activities

During 2009, China's primary work on environmental law concerned international law on climate change before and during the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen (Copenhagen Conference).

Leading into the Copenhagen Conference, China engaged in a series of activities to build consensus with other nations, particularly through bilateral dialogues with the United States. During President Barack Obama's visit to China in November 2009, officials of China and the United States engaged in high-level negotiations on climate change, energy, and other environmental topics. The result of such negotiations was embodied in the U.S.-China Joint Statement, especially the part entitled "Climate Change, Energy, and Environment."

Both China and the United States recognized the need to address climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy. Both sides agreed on the importance of actively furthering the full, effective, and sustained implementation of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in accordance with the Bali Action Plan. Both resolved to take significant mitigation actions and recognized the important role that their countries play in promoting a sustainable outcome that will strengthen the world's ability to combat climate change. Both agreed that mitigation should be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, including emission reduction targets of developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries.

Mingqing You is an associate professor at the Environmental and Resources Law Institute, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China. Ke Huang is a lecturer at the School of Management, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, China.

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