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Tackling climate change hinges on sustainable development
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14:50, August 25, 2009

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Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), delivered a report on the work of tackling climate change on behalf of the State Council (Cabinet) or the Chinese government on Monday, August 24 to the 10th Session of the 11th National People's Congress Standing Committee.

China would continue to advance international talks on climate change in a constructive way, said Xie, also head of China's Climate Change and Coordinating Committee, and the country vowed its "utmost sincerity" in pushing for the success of climate talks in December in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Copenhagen conference will focus on setting the next targets of emission reduction after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, set quantified emission reduction targets for developed countries from 2008 to 2012.

China's National Coordination Group on Climate Change was set up in 1990, the National Climate Change Policy Coordination Group was established in 1998, and a national leading group on climate change, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, was formed in 2007 to oversee the issues related to climate change. And the Chinese government released its National Program Report for Coping with Climate Change in June 2007.

Xie Zhenhua pointed out in his report that climate change is an environmental issue on the one hand and also a development issue on the other hand but, in the final analysis, it is a development issue which will ultimately hinge on sustainable development for settlement.

China has steadfastly and unswervingly been taking the road of sustainable development. In the light of its plan for national economy and social development, the country formulated and implemented a national plan for coping with climate change, adopted a series of policies and measures in this regard, and attained positive, substantial outcome.

The Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) formally ratified the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention in 1992, and the Chinese government, or the State Council, confirmed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol on August 30, 2002.

As part of its effort to formulate the state plan, the State Council released China's first national program to tackle climate change. It is a programmatic document for coping with climate change during the 11th five-year plan period, which sets the direction for national development for 2006-2010 period, and clarifies the guiding ideology, principles and related policy measures for tackling climate change.

Meanwhile, the country also speeds up researches and development of technologies on energy saving or conservation, renewable energy resources and economy circulation. Moreover, it would make controlling greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change an important part of its development plans.

China will study to formulate its national strategy to cope with climate change or orbit the climate change into its program for national economy and social development. By 2010, China should lower its energy consumption per unit of GDP by about 20 percent over the figures of 2005 and increase the proportion of renewable energy to some 10 percent of its total energy use and forestland to 20 percent of the total land space, according to the program.

In its green deal for attaining varied strategic objectives, great efforts would be made to develop its green economy, increase green investment, foster green consumption and promote green growth, so as to create a new growth engine with a salient feature of low-carbon emissions.

China is to increase, among other efforts, its adaptability to climate change and comprehensive capacity to monitor, warn about and cope with climate change, strengthen the legal system and institutional building, and taking an active part in the related international cooperation and exchanges, so as to expand dialogue and exchanges, increase the mutual trust, reduce suspicions and carry out substantial cooperation.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD reporters Mao Lei and Song Wei

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