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Strategy Drafted on Climate Change

The Chinese Government is strengthening efforts to address the consequences brought by global climate change.


The National Climate Change Co-ordination Committee, which is composed of 15 government departments and institutions, is drafting a national strategy dealing with impacts of climate change and an administrative regulation on a clean development mechanism (CDM), according to Office of National Climate Change Co-ordination Committee division chief Sun Cuihua.


The strategy is expected to be enforced starting either this or next year after final approval by the State Council, while the CDM regulation may come out next month, Sun told China Daily.


The strategy, a long-term plan aimed towards 2020, will serve as a guide for actions in different walks of life to address all the impacts that climate change may bring about.


It will also serve as a reference for local governments when drafting their socio-economic development plans for the next five years (2006-10), Sun said.


The strategy will involve analyzing the current situation, the trend of change and adaptation measures to climate change in China and specify measures to deal with greenhouse gas emissions.


The CDM regulation will, for the first time in China, also set qualification conditions for enterprises and organizations implementing CDM projects, therefore providing a legal foundation for the expansion of CDM practices in China, Sun said.


Scientific research undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have found that the average global temperature has risen by 0.6 C since the year 1860.


Global warming has resulted in the melting of glaciers and brought about more extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, sandstorms and typhoons which severely affect everyday life.


According to IPCC data, the glacial area of Kenya's Mount Kilimanjaro shrank by 80 percent between 1912 and 2000.


The snow-line of the glaciers in northwest China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region has also receded by 140 meters since 1962.


Another research by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction in Canada indicated that more than 2,500 natural disasters occurred worldwide during the 1990s, with the largest adverse impacts of severe weather being recorded in China, Bangladesh and other developing countries.


The Chinese Government has attached great importance to dealing with climate change.


The National Climate Change Co-ordination Committee, which was formally established in 1998, has promulgated a series of policies to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Measures include technology upgrades to raise energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy to replace conventional fuels, as well as planting of trees and controlling the impact of the human population on the environment.


International cooperation has been carried out with international agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as well as bilateral collaborations with a number of countries including Canada, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands.


One successful example is the China-Canada Cooperation on Climate Change (C5). The two-and-half-year project has helped raise public awareness in China over climate change and improved the nation's research on impact and adaptation to climate change.


The Canadian side is also very satisfied with the C5 project which is "beneficial to both countries," according to Don Maclver, the visiting director of the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group under the Canadian Ministry of Environment.


Canada highly values China's advanced scientific research on impacts and adaptations to climate change in the agricultural sector, issues that are extremely important to two of the world's major agricultural producers, he stressed.


The C5 project enables more information exchanges and at the conclusion of the C5 project, the two sides have agreed to further expand partnerships in agriculture and some other fields like water quality, fighting drought and the production of clean and renewable energy, he said.


(China Daily May 24, 2004)

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