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President Hu elaborates on China's stance on climate change
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15:22, July 09, 2008

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Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Wednesday that his country will take substantial measures to cope with climate change.

Hu made the remarks at the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, which gathered leaders from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and the Group of Eight (G8) nations at Toyako, a resort town on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

China is among the countries seriously affected by the negative impacts of climate change, he said in a speech at the meeting.

"When looking at China's emissions, it is necessary to take into account the following three factors," Hu said.

"First, China is a developing country in the process of industrialization and modernization," said the Chinese president.

The country faces imbalances in terms of development between urban and rural areas, among different regions, and between the economic sector and the social sector, and people's living standards are still not high, he said.

China's central task now is to develop the economy and make life better for the people, Hu added.

"Second, China's per capita emissions are relatively low, and are even lower if calculated in accumulative terms," he said.

The Chinese leader said a significant share of China's total emissions fall in the category of subsistence emissions necessary to meet people's basic needs.

"Third, as a result of changes in international division of labor and manufacturing relocation, China faces mounting pressure of international transferred emissions," he said.

He said the Chinese government, with a responsible attitude toward the Chinese people and people of the whole world, takes climate change very seriously.

"We have made it a strategic task to build a conservation culture and we adhere to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment," Hu said.

China is making efforts to ensure that its industrial structure, growth model and consumption pattern are energy and resource efficient and environmentally-friendly, he said.

"We have, in line with our economic and social development plans and sustainable development strategy, formulated China's National Climate Change Program, set up the National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, promulgated a series of laws and regulations and adopted a host of measures to tackle climate change," said the Chinese president.

China, which started efforts by saving energy and cutting emissions, has taken a series of measures, including conserving energy, improving the energy mix, raising energy efficiency and promoting afforestation, and has achieved noticeable results, he said.

"We have set the clear targets that the year-end energy intensity per unit of GDP of 2005 will be reduced by 20 percent by2010, total discharge of major pollutants will be cut by 10 percent and forest coverage will increase to 20 percent from the 2005 figure of 18.2 percent," Hu said, adding that China is firmly committed to meeting these targets.

He said that to adapt to climate change, China has made continued efforts to strengthen adaptation capacities in the fields of agriculture, natural and ecological systems and water resources.

"We place great importance on disaster prevention and reduction and minimizing the losses caused by disastrous weather conditions and extreme climate events," said the Chinese president.

Hu pointed out that China will, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, actively promote negotiations on the implementation of the Bali Road Map and make a greater contribution to international cooperation on climate change.

"China is ready to work unremittingly with the rest of the international community to achieve harmonious, clean and sustainable development in the world," he said.


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