China briefs UNEP sponsored forum on environment protection measures

08:55, July 12, 2011      

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China said in Nairobi on Monday that it has introduced a raft of measures aimed at protecting the environment which are expected to vigorously drive the country's efforts toward green economy.

Visiting Environment Minister of China Zhou Shengxian said developing green economy is an effective approach to addressing the increasing constraints on resources and the environment, a key demand for transformation of economic growth mode, and international requirement for safeguarding and improving the welfare of people. "The Chinese government has adopted a series of measures to develop green economy. China is much more in need to develop economy than any other countries in the world," Zhou told a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) convened forum of environmentalists and diplomats in Nairobi.

Among the measures include increasing green investment where China has allocated a 4 trillion RMB economic stimulus package to help in addressing the global financial crisis, among which 210 billion RMB for energy saving and emission reduction.

The minister said China is also developing green industry such as energy conservation, environmental protection, new energy sources and biotechnology which have been identified as strategic new emerging industries as the country moves rapidly towards green economy. "We are carrying out pilot work on low carbon economy. China has accelerated the development of low carbon technology, facilitated certification of low carbon products and development of low carbon industrial parks and communities and gradually reduced carbon emission intensity of economic growth," Zhou said.

He said measures have also been taken to facilitate ecological development, green renovation and development of circular economy as well as facilitating the development of environmental protection industry so as to accelerate its process of developing full range environmental protection industrial system with advanced equipment and vigour

Zhou cautioned that pollution and the demand for resources threaten to stifle economic growth, noting that conflict between development and nature has never been so serious. "Pollution emission reduction efforts have been further intensified," he said, adding that environmental protection as the propeller for developing green economy and achieving green transition has a comprehensive role for facilitating the development of green economy.

Zhou said the environmental impact assessment system has been enhanced which controls pollution at its sources and facilitates upgrading of industry.

In his opening remarks, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner praised steps which have been taken by China in balancing both economic growth and its transition into green economy.

He said the green economy offers a focused and pragmatic assessment of how countries, communities and corporations have begun to make a transition towards a more sustainable pattern of consumption and production.

"China has taken steps to address economic progress and environmental sustainable in its five-year-plan. The continuing growth in this core segment of the green economy is stimulating development of new industries and creating new jobs," Steiner said.

He noted that the combination of government target-setting, policy support and stimulus funds is underpinning the renewable industry's rise and bringing the much needed transformation of global energy system within reach.

The UNEP chief said the UN climate convention meeting in Durban later this year, followed by the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in 2012, will offer key opportunities to accelerate and scale-up this positive transition to a low carbon, resource efficient green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Zhou said his government has made environmental protection to become a key plank of the new Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). He said China has realized that it would suffer unless issues of pollution were prioritized. "We will strictly control the construction projects which have high energy consumption, high emission of pollutants and resource oriented projects with low-level redundant construction and the project with excessive productivity," he said.

Zhou said the Chinese government will play greater role in addressing heavy metal pollution that new development projects be assessed for their impact on climate change. "We will mainstream environment protection requirements into economic and social development process to make every link of economic development to be conducive to protection and improvement of the environment," the minister said.

Source: Xinhua
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