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National Emergency Response Mechanism Tackles Climate Change
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China is building a nationwide emergency management mechanism to counteract the crippling losses incurred from natural disasters such as floods, droughts, desertification, storms and general deterioration of ecological environment as a result of global warming. 

According to the national action plan on climate change published Monday, the country's first global warming policy initiative, China will swiftly adopt sweeping measures ranging from laws, the economy, administration and technology which will combine to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and imbue the country with a flexible approach to climate change.

In July 2005, the State Council announced the formation of an Emergency Management Office to oversee the fledgling mechanism's implementation. Over the next five years, around three billion yuan (about US$400 million) will be invested to ensure an integrated top-down system covers both central and local governments. Furthermore, future evaluations of local officials will take construction and management quality of the mechanism. 

When fully operational, the mechanism will be able to quickly mobilize the whole country to respond to floods, storms, hurricane, earthquakes and other disasters and minimize losses, observed Xu Guangjian, vice dean of the School of Public Administration under the Renmin University of China.

"To curb greenhouse effect is crucial to reducing global warming as well as disaster prevention and reduction," said Zhou Tianyong, vice director of the CPC Party School's Research Center.

In 2003, the Chinese government proposed a new way of industrialization based on the scientific concept of development, seeking to lower energy consumption, save resources and lower emissions. These aims will be the plinth of the emergency management mechanism," he added.

In terms of housing, China will encourage northern regions to use heat conservation materials, to make air-conditioners more environmentally friendly, and to develop central and cooling systems. For transportation, public transport is burgeoning in China with suburb railways and subways rapidly expanding. In order to ensure that this expansion proceeds smoothly, concepts such water, energy and electricity saving or recycling are being publicized.

The State Council recently published a notice which sets air-conditioning temperature limits for public buildings: no lower than 26 degrees Celsius in summer and no higher than 20 in winter. These rules apply to all state institutions, social organizations and enterprises with exceptions made for hospitals and certain other special cases.

(China.org.cn, translated by Li Shen June 8, 2007)

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