|Wen makes strong Rio vows|
Premier Wen Jiabao said China will take a more active role in promoting sustainable development as a major developing country during his Wednesday speech at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, informally known as the Rio+20.
More than 100 heads of state gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to discuss policies about global sustainable development.
"Countries must share the common responsibilities of protecting our planet while recognizing that they are at different stages and levels of development," Wen said in his speech.
After days of intensive informal negotiations, 191 countries reached an agreement Tuesday on an "action plan" that will be adopted by heads of state at the conclusion of the summit on Friday.
The 49-page draft reaffirms "the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities", a major concern of the Group 77 and China. It also sets out decisions to establish sustainable development goals to be adopted by all countries.
Wen called for countries to explore models of establishing a green economy. He also said countries should be supported in making their own decisions and processes in a transition to a green economy based on their own basic conditions.
The international community, he said, should allow countries with different histories, cultures, religious beliefs and social systems to choose their own path of sustainable development, Wen said.
"The more China develops, the more opportunities it will create and the more it will contribute to the world," he said.
Wen announced that China will contribute $6 million to a UN Environment Programme trust fund for projects and activities that help developing countries protect the environment.
The country will also give 200 millon yuan ($31 million) for a three-year project to help small island countries, least developed countries and African countries in addressing climate change.
China also made some major vows during the summit, including helping to countries train managerial and technical professionals in ecological preservation and controlling desertification, as well as provide facilities such as automatic weather stations to relevant countries.
On Wednesday, Wen said China has done much to help foster international cooperation to help countries develop sustainably. It various cooperative trade deals, China moved to cancel about 30 billion yuan in debt owed by 50 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries by the end of last year.
It has offered tariff-free trade for more than 60 percent of the products from 38 least developed countries and provided more than 100 billion yuan in concessional loans to developing countries.
Though it might be helping to develop a green economy, sustainable development in China has not reached its full potential. The country may boast a fairly large economy, but its per capita income ranks 90th in the world. The country still has more than 100 million people living below the poverty line.
"Pressure from resources and the environment continues to mount and problems of unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remain challenging," Wen said.
While some leaders believe the action plan was positive, non-governmental organizations think more should have come out from the rare opportunity. Though UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said negotiations at the summit was successful, he also added that "we have not gone nearly far enough down the road mapped out in 1992. Now we have been given a second chance".
The 1992 Earth Summit is considered as the first step by the UN to put sustainable development as a top priority on its agenda.
If the action plan this year is carried out, said Sha Zukang, Rio+20's secretary-general, it will generate a positive global change.
More than 40,000 participants are attending the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil.
Wen also held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday at the sidelines of the summit.
Analysts say the two countries have been working together in many related conferences because they both have similar challenges and concerns. Analysts said each nation is urging developed countries to provide more financial and technological support to battle climate change.