Wed, September 23, 2009
China > China & World > President Hu attends G20, UN summits

Q & A: How does Chinese government react to climate change?

2009-09-23 08:59:12 GMT2009-09-23 16:59:12 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday told a United Nations climate summit that China would cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by "a notable margin" in the decade to 2020.

It is not the first time China has put forward actions to combat the challenges climate change poses to the world. So what has China done to address the problem in the past?

The basic facts about China's stance -- based on its chief climate change negotiator Xie Zhenhua's address to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the country's top legislature, on Aug. 24, are:

-- The strengthening of laws and regulations and international treaties: China has adopted a series of new laws concerning environment and climate change issues, including the Renewable Energy Law, Energy Conservation Law, Cleaner Production Promotion Law, Forest Law, Grassland Law and the Circular Economy Promotion Law.

China ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and has since fulfilled its obligations and actively carried out cooperation on clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

-- Political moves: China published its National Climate Change Program in June, 2007, pledging a 20-percent reduction of energy consumption per unit gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 on the basis of 2005 figures.

In the same year, China established the National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao. The group is responsible for deliberating and determining key national strategies, guidelines and measures on climate change, as well as coordinating and resolving key issues related to climate change. Apanel of experts was set up to provide consultation.

Province-level governments have also set up institutions to enhance local responses to climate change, and formulated climate change programs.

-- Cutting greenhouse gases emissions: China has adopted a series of policies and measures, including restructuring the economy by curbing high energy cost projects and accelerating the service industry, optimizing its energy mix by developing hydro, nuclear and other clean energies, as well as a national forestation campaign to cut down greenhouse gas emissions.

-- Building up research and development capacities: China has continually increased input in climate change research, ranging from monitoring the global environment to climate change evaluations.

It has also strengthened development and promotion of key environmentally friendly technologies, such as new energy vehicles, energy conservation technologies, renewable energies, nuclear energy and circular economy technologies.

-- Educating public on climate care: China has intensified its efforts to promote education and public awareness on climate change via a variety of means including radio, TV, the Internet, and various publications.

In 2008, the White Paper on China's policies and Actions on Climate Change was published. It offers a general view of policy and achievement addressing climate change.

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