China adopts a series of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emission

UPDATED: 13:20, June 09, 2007

Although China's per capita carbon dioxide emissions are less than one-third of the average level in developed countries, the Chinese government has adopted a series of measures to reduce carbon emission in recent years, Chinese President Hu Jintao saidin Heiligendamm Friday.

At an outreach session between the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized Nations and five major developing countries, Hu introduced China's carbon emissions reduction efforts in detail.

According to Hu, China has reformed its industrial structure to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Thanks to the reform, China has saved about 800 million tons of coal between 1991 and 2005, which is the equivalent to reducing the emission of 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide, the Chinese president said.

As a country traditionally dependent on coal as its major energy source, China has developed low-carbon energy sources and renewable energy sources in recent years, Hu said.

The proportion of coal in China's primary energy consumption fell to 69.1 percent in 2005 from 76.2 percent in 1990. Renewable energy accounted for 7.5 percent of China's total energy consumption in 2005, equivalent to reducing the emission of 380 million tons of carbon dioxide.

China has also stepped up its afforestation efforts, which is also helping to reduce carbon emissions.

It is estimated that between 1980 and 2005, a total of some 3.06 billion tons of carbon dioxide was absorbed as a result of afforestation in China. Another 1.62 billion tons of carbon dioxide was absorbed thanks to forest management, and the emission of 430 million tons of carbon dioxide was prevented due to a reduction in deforestation.

Due to the family planning policy implemented since the 1970s, China's population growth has markedly slowed down, which translates into an annual reduction of 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide if calculated on the basis of global average per capita emissions.

China has also enhanced its law-making and enforcement efforts to tackle climate change, and education programs on the issue have been launched nationwide to raise public awareness, Hu said.

The Chinese government has set itself the targets to reduce energy intensity by 20 percent in 2010 on a 2005 basis and increase forest coverage from 18.2 percent to 20 percent during the same period," Hu said, adding that effective measures have been taken to ensure that these targets be met.

According to Hu, China will continue to take an active part in international cooperation in tackling climate change and strengthen cooperation with other developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation.

In particular, we will continue to do what we can to help African countries and small island developing states build capacity to tackle climate change," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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