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China attaches great importance to climate change

updated: 2009-07-10

China has always attached great importance to climate change and has made constant achievements in energy saving and emission reduction in the past years, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo said in L'Aquila, Italy on Thursday.

Although China, the world's largest developing country, is faced with arduous tasks including developing its economy, eliminating poverty and improving people's livelihood, it has always attached great importance to addressing climate change and participated in international cooperation in the field with an active, responsible and constructive attitude, said Dai, who attended the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on energy security and climate change on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

China is the first developing country which has launched a national plan for coping with climate change, the state councilor said.

In the plan, China has set the targets of cutting energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by some 20 percent from 2005 to 2010 and emissions of main pollutants by 10 percent, and raising the forest coverage rate to 20 percent from 18 percent and the proportion of renewable energies in primary energy resources from 7.5 percent to 10 percent.

Of the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package announced by the Chinese government last year, 580 billion yuan (US$84.9 billion) would be used on projects relating to climate change, Dai told the forum.

China's efforts made in energy saving and emission reduction have yielded fruits continuously in recent years, Dai said.

According to incomplete statistics, energy consumption per unit of the GDP has decreased by 10.1 percent in the past three years, saving energy equivalent of some 300 million tons of standard coal and emitting some 750 million tons less of carbon dioxide, he explained.

In 2007 alone, the total amount of renewable energies used had reached an equivalent of some 220 million tons of standard coal, equaling emissions of some 500 million tons less of carbon dioxide, he added.

Dai said that China supports the United Nations to play a leading role in the international cooperation in coping with climate change, actively participates in talks on implementing "the Bali Road Map" and constructively works for the success of the forthcoming Copenhagen meeting, which aims to work out a new global pact on climate change to replace the current Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

China will, based on the principles of openness, cooperation, mutual benefit and achieving a win-win result, continue to work along with the international community to make unremitting efforts in coping with the global climate change and realizing sustainable development, Dai said.

Leaders of the G8 industrialized countries and five leading emerging economies -- India, China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa -- met on Thursday to discuss economic issues, climate change, trade and other international issues.

(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2009)