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News letter Issue No. 26

Issue No. 26

     November 26, 2009

China Announces Targets on Carbon Dioxide Emission Cuts

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao chaired a State Council executive meeting on 25, September to study and make work plan to address climate change. China decided on greenhouse gas emissions action targets by 2020, and introduced corresponding policy measures and actions.


The meeting held that the proper response to climate change concerns China's economic and social development and the fundamental interests of the people. It is vital to the well-being and the long-term development of all peoples. As a responsible developing country, China advocates the adoption of effective international cooperation to jointly cope with climate change. We will adhere to the basic framework of the "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," and the "Kyoto Protocol", adhere to the "common but differentiated responsibilities" principle, strictly follow the Bali road map mandate, strengthen the comprehensive, effective and continued implementation of the Convention and Protocol, give overall consideration to mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial support to promote the Copenhagen meeting to achieve positive results.


It was noted that at the recent United Nations climate change summit, President Hu Jintao, on behalf of the Chinese government, stated to the international community China’s principled stance on the issue of climate change, and explicitly put forward that we will take a major step in our response to climate change. The NPC Standing Committee adopted a resolution on positively tackling climate change. China's stance and propositions have won full understanding and wide recognition of the world.


The meeting pointed out that China has always attached great importance to climate change, unswervingly take the road of sustainable development, proceed from the national conditions and reality, developed national programs to address climate change, actively promote economic and industrial restructuring, optimize energy structure, encourage conservation, improve energy efficiency policies and measures to strengthen response to climate change, increase science and technology, R & D investment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance forest carbon sinks, and improve ability to adapt and have achieved positive results.


The meeting proposed that facing the serious challenge of climate change, we need to thoroughly implement the scientific concept of development, adopt a more robust policy measures and actions to accelerate change in mode of development, make efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions, build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society. The meeting decided that by 2020 China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP will dropped by between 40-45% compared with 2005. This will be the binding targets into our mid-to-long-term national economic and social development plan, and we will develop appropriate national statistics, monitoring and evaluation methods. The meeting also decided to adopt and vigorously develop renewable energy resources, actively promote nuclear power construction, so that by 2020, China's non-fossil energy will account for around 5% in the proportion of primary energy consumption,; through reforestation and strengthening forest management, forest area will increase more than 40 million hectares than 2005, and forest reserves an increase of 1.3 billion cubic meters compared to 2005. Such is China’s enormous efforts to the global response to climate change and is an independent action taken in accordance with national conditions of China

The meeting stressed that China is in a crucial period of building a moderately prosperous society and an important stage to accelerate the development of industrialization and urbanization. The task of economic development and improving people's livelihood is very heavy. China has a large population, a relatively low level of economic development; economic structural contradictions are still prominent. It has a coal-dominated energy structure, energy demand will continue to grow, we are faced with tremendous pressure and the special difficulties to control greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve these actions and objectives need arduous efforts.


The meeting called to address climate change based on the promotion of scientific development, strengthening the ecological civilization construction, co-ordinate economic development and the protection of the environment, co-ordinate domestic and international situations and co-ordinate the immediate needs and long-term interests. To include response to climate change as a major national economic and social development strategy,  strengthen R & D and industrialization of such energy conservation, energy efficiency, clean coal, renewable energy, advanced nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and other low-carbon and zero carbon technology, accelerate the construction of industries, buildings and transportation system characterized by low-carbon.  Develop supporting laws and regulations and standards, and improve the fiscal, taxation, price, finance and other policy measures, adopt sound management system and mechanism to supervise the implementation. Strengthen international cooperation, and effective introduction, digestion and absorption of foreign advanced low-carbon and climate-friendly technology to improve our response to climate change. Enhance social awareness of climate change; accelerate the formation of low-carbon green lifestyles and consumption patterns.


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