While some developed countries are tracking down the causes of global warming; China is making a significant step forward in conserving energy and reducing the emissions of waste and pollutants.
The State Council released three action plans and three measures on November 23. The three action plans are for: the unit GDP energy consumption statistical index system, a testing system, and a supervisory system.
The three measures include testing, supervision, and total emissions reduction statistics for major pollutants. The three action plans and the three measures correspond with the comprehensive assessment of economic and social development throughout the country.
They also play a vital role in the achievement testing and evaluation of government officials at all levels and the managerial staff in businesses and enterprises.
The three action plans and measures will be implemented and enforced according to a system of responsibility, in which can be seen China's efforts to fight global warming.
As is well-known, greenhouse gases from oil, coal, natural gas and mineral resource combustion is the leading cause of global warming. Cutting down on energy consumption is, beyond a doubt, a decisive move. With an incumbent responsibility to respond to global warming, China's government solemnly states: in the 11th five-year plan period, China will reduce unit GDP energy consumption by 20%, and reduce emissions by major pollutants by 10%.
Through great efforts, China has made a breakthrough in the emissions of major pollutants: in the first half of the year, the total volume of sulfur dioxide emissions dropped by 0.88% compared with the same period last year. The chemical oxygen demand throughout China dropped by 0.28% in the first 3 quarters of the year, and this is the first decline in chemical oxygen demand in China.
We believe that China will accelerate energy conservation and emissions reduction by means of implementing the action plans and measures to combat global warming, the achievement assessment of government officials, and the responsibility system.
In fact, China, pursuing peaceful development and devoted to the construction of a harmonious society, waged war against global warming years ago. Dating back to the Yangtse River flooding in 1998, China's government began converting farmland back into forest and grass; protecting the natural forest; and cultivating an artificial forest.
It also encouraged the development of renewable resources with an investment of hundreds of billions of yuan. China released the Renewable Resources Act and the Mid- and Long-term development program of Renewable Resources with the aim of increasing the proportion of renewable resources in total energy consumption to 15% by 2020. Additionally, China has made headway in many other spheres: the prevention and control of desertification, the development of energy conserving buildings and public transportation.
Global warming most likely has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, and greenhouse gas emissions have accumulated from every industrialized society since then. Since the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution broke out, until the 1950s, carbon dioxide emissions from developed countries made up 95% of the total global volume. Up to the year 2000, carbon dioxide emissions from the developed world accounted for 77% of the total. Currently, in terms of per capita energy consumption and green house gas emissions, developed countries rank high above developing countries. It is clear who should assume more responsibility for the side effects.
To combat global warming is by no means paid through lip service. China will definitely honor its promise and fulfill its responsibilities.
The article is written by Zhao Yongxin, an editor with the People's Daily