US environmentalists have called on China and the United States,
the world's top emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), to work
together on mitigating climate change.
During her recent visit to China, Frances Beinecke, president of
the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a US environmental
non-governmental organization, said China's efforts to meet
energy-saving targets not only helped the country improve its
environment, but also demonstrated its willingness to work with
other countries to solve a global problem.
China is striving to cut its energy consumption per unit of
gross domestic product by 20 percent and its pollution emissions by
10 percent during the five-year period from 2006 to 2010.
Meanwhile, the country is also trying to increase its use of
renewable energy by 10 percent during the period.
"The Chinese government completed and released the National
Climate Change Assessment Report at the end of last year," she
said. "And the country is said to be preparing to make public its
national action plan to combat global warming. The moves are really
She said the United States, the world's top emitter of carbon
dioxide (CO2), one of the major GHGs causing climate change, had a
responsibility to deal with rising temperatures. Though the Bush
government withdrew the United States from the Kyoto Protocol, the
key international agreement on curbing GHGs, American NGOs have led
a sustained effort to cut emissions.
She said that although China's per-capita carbon emissions are
lower than the global average, the International Energy Agency
estimates that China will overtake the United States in terms of
carbon emissions by 2009.
Faced with such a situation, both China and the United States
must accept their responsibility to protect the Earth. Close
cooperation between the two countries in this area is key, she
Beinecke said helping China improve energy efficiency and
develop clean energy are the NRDC's top priorities in the next
The organization has carried out clean energy projects in China
for years, said Barbara Finamore, director of the China Program.
Constructing green buildings, developing clean power and promoting
sustainable transportation are some of the group's projects.
(China Daily May 18, 2007)