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China makes progress in fulfilling commitment on carbon emissions

(Xinhua)    14:35, April 17, 2015
File photo taken on Nov. 24, 2014 shows an outdated boiler demolished in Tangshan City, north China's Hebei Province. China's carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years as the nation furthers structural readjustment to improve growth quality. In the first half of 2014, China's carbon intensity was cut by about 5 percent, the largest drop in many years. Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product have dropped 28.56 percent by 2013 from the level of 2005, or a reduction of 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's key economic planning body. The Chinese government has pledged a 40 percent to 45 percent reduction of carbon dioxide intensity by 2020 from the levels in 2005 and is committed to making every effort to achieve the target. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao)

EDINBURGH, April 16 -- China is making concrete progress in fulfilling its pledge to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 at the latest with its economy expanding at around 7 percent, experts on climate change said here Thursday.

"Data from the Global Carbon Project shows that China's carbon dioxide emission decreased by 17 percent from 2007 to 2012 (on) average," said Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at Britain's University of East Anglia, at a debate at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

During the same period, statistics showed that the U.S. emission increased by 7 percent, while the emissions in the 28 member states of the European Union as a whole rose by 29 percent, while India's emission decreased by 8 percent.

"China's coal consumption fell in 2014, driven by its efforts to fight pollution, use energy more efficiently and deploy renewable(energy)," she said about the slowdown in global emissions in2014.

She emphasized that global warming affects everyone, but expressed optimism on solving the issue as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was scheduled to meet in Paris this December.

In response to a question from Xinhua, Le Quere emphasized the goals, targets and timeline to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as the priorities of the panel's agenda.

"I don't see major obstacles," said Le Quere, who is originally from Canada, stressing the two-way process for governments and people to tackle the problem of climate change.

For his part, Pierre-Alain Coffinier, the French consul general in Scotland, said the upcoming Paris conference on climate change will be the largest of its kind, with 196 countries set to sign a new global climate change agreement.

On the legally binding ability of the international agreement, Coffinier said the United States wants to achieve that, but it did not ratify. "China has its own justification," he said.

Coffinier stressed the methodology of achieving agreement first on goals, and then through diplomatic channels to solidify the agreement.

Tim Nuthall, spokesman for the European Climate Foundation in Brussels, said the challenge is building trust among countries to keep the issue of climate change "on track, rather than immediately achieving."

"The problem is solvable," he said, adding that countries such as China, the United States and India as well as some international celebrities have taken up the issue, and are stressing the role of policy and aspiration.

Stephen Belcher, head of the Meteorology Office Hadley Center, one of Britain's foremost climate change research centers, stressed that the Earth's resources are limited. He highlighted the importance of a sustainable environment and the equity between developing and developed worlds.

Titled "The Road to Paris," the debate was attended by around200 participants. It is one of the events of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which runs from April 4 to April 19 and is themed "The Ideas Factory."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Yao Chun)

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