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Environment-friendly Agency Planned

A national commission to promote clean development mechanisms (CDM) in the country is in the making.

The commission will promote environmentally friendly practices that reduce emission of greenhouse gases and encourage the use of renewable resources and energy, China Daily learned yesterday from a policy insider close to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

There is currently the National Coordination Office on Climate Change. The office is expected to be included in the new commission and be led by the latter.

However, the source did not provide other details, including the timing for establishing the agency.

Wei Jianguo, a professor with the Tsinghua University Global Change Research Institute, also confirmed the new commission will be set up soon.

According to Wei, with assistance of the Resources Future Institute of Canada, his institute will work at a clean development guidebook that can provide fundamental principles and relevant technologies and experiences for promoting environmental cleanup in China.

A nation-wide training program will be launched immediately after the guidebook is published next month.

The CDM was proposed as part of the Kyoto Protocol adopted by the Third Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change on December 11, 1997.

It is being devised to assist developed countries to fulfill their commitments on emission reduction in a flexible and co-operative manner.

At the same time, it will provide an opportunity for developing countries - not bound to reduce their emissions under the protocol - to participate in the process of global greenhouse gas mitigation and to promote sustainable development.

It also allows industrialized countries to earn emissions credits from their investments in emission-reducing projects in developing countries.

China is the largest potential clean development market in the world, making up about half the world's total, Wei said, explaining that it is mainly because of the country's heavy reliance on coal and its lack of up-to-date energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy sources.

China is also active in clean development activities and in seeking assistance from foreign donors to address climate change through the broad categories of technological transfer, capacity building and public education and outreach.

Through international collaborations such as those with the Canadian Government and relevant institutions, China is learning, he said.

Canada has developed a list of more than 1,300 existing, emerging and future technologies that are suitable for addressing the global issue of climate change, which can provide models and tools for use in China.

Several days ago, China and Canada jointly organized a training seminar to promote capacity building in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The two governments plan to train 300-500 professionals in Ningxia and turn them into experts for further projects in the region.

Currently China has about 20 small scale projects covering small hydropower, wind farm, energy-free refrigeration, municipal waste incineration for power generation and sugar-house, waste-based organic fertilizer production for avoiding methane emission.

(China Daily May 17, 2004)

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