China appealed Monday to exclude its giant export sector in the next treaty on climate change, saying rich countries buying its products should bear responsibility for emissions in manufacturing.
"It is a very important item to make a fair agreement," senior Chinese climate official Li Gao said during a visit to Washington.
Climate envoys from China, Japan and the European Union were holding talks with US President Barack Obama's administration as the clock ticks to a December conference in Copenhagen meant to draft a post-Kyoto Protocol deal.
But hopes were fading of reaching a comprehensive treaty, with the United States still working out the scope of its new commitment to fighting global warming under Obama.
Developed nations demand that growing developing countries such as China and India take action under the new treaty. They had no obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, leading Obama's predecessor George W. Bush to reject it.
Some statistics say China has now surpassed the United States as the top emitter of carbon emissions blamed for global warming. But Li said that up to 20 percent of China's emissions were from producing exports.
"We are at the low end of the production line for the global economy," Li told a forum.
"We produce products and these products are consumed by other countries, especially the developed countries. This share of emissions should be taken by the consumers but not the producers," he said.
Ok. Easily done. It's called a carbon tariff. China won't like it. Not one bit. It'd be interesting to see their reaction though. ;)