UK energy official: Climate change requires global action

10:01, December 08, 2010      

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The United Kingdom has for a number of years taken the issue of global warming seriously both at the national and international levels. Since 1990, the United Kingdom’s green house gas emission has dropped significantly by some 20 percent, and the U.K. government has agreed to cut its own emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and some 80 percent by 2050, said David Concar, British Counselor for Climate Change and Energy on Dec. 6 in Beijing.


David Concar, British Counselor for Climate Change and Energy

Measures against rising temperature

During an exclusive interview with People's Daily Online, Concar noted that the United Kingdom has taken concrete measures to handle the rising temperature. Just recently the United Kingdom invested heavily in offshore wind power. Britain has more offshore wind electricity than the rest of the world combined, which can greatly reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.

"We also build commercial scale carbon capture and storage facilities, which can quickly capture the emissions and store carbon dioxide in safe places such as sea beds. We are very glad that a number of countries including China are piloting this project, but we also encourage other countries to be more active in this regard," he explained.

In addition to the actions, the United Kingdom also called on countries around the world to join it in global emission cuts.

"The United Kingdom only accounts for less than 2 percent of world emission. Even if the United Kingdom succeeds in achieving zero carbon emissions, that’s only 2 percent of the global total," the Counselor added. "We can only solve the problems with other countries, but we know the task will be very challenging. Some are willing to take strong action. Others are quite concerned about the impact of emission cuts on their economic growth. Ambitious actions on climate change can be a very good discipline for economic growth."

He mentioned that more and more countries around the world are making calculations that actions on climate change should not be seen as a burden on national economy, and actually it can produce positive aspects. The prospect for taking actions against global warming will remain rosy.

Money allocated to maintain sustainable development

The British government promised a total of 1.5 billion pounds worth of climate financing to help developing countries handle global warming and achieve low-carbon or even zero-carbon development. So far 568 million pounds have been allocated and the rest will be in place within the time frame.

The money, either through multinational mechanisms or bilateral arrangement, will help countries to develop their own low carbon technologies, such as low carbon development, clean energy, forest protection and better management of water resources as well as improved energy efficiency.

So far the financing has made encouraging progress in Nigeria, Tajikistan and Bangladesh. Thousands of kilometers of roads were built to help local residents better cope with the impact of global warming. Water conservancy facilities were renovated to improve grain production. Social security programs were formulated to protect ordinary families from being affected by climate change. The effects of drought on agricultural activities were minimized and so on.

Apart from introducing United Kingdom's experience in fighting global warming, he also voiced strong optimism for further U.K.-China cooperation in climate change. The United Kingdom's leading offshore wind technology and China's turbine technology will definitely create a win-win scenario in global climate change.

The cooperation will significantly push forward the development of low carbon and sustainable development. The renewable energy and low costs will benefit businesses and people not only in the two countries but also around the world.

By Zhang Xinyi and Dong Jing, People's Daily Online

(Editor:张心意)

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