China is making a serious effort to protect the global environment, regardless of its status as a developing country, according to the country's top weather official.
"China is on the same boat with the rest of the world and we're facing the same problems of rising temperature and all its consequences," Qin Dahe, director of the China Meteorological Administration, said yesterday.
"The Chinese government will not just consider its own interests and neglect other countries'," said Qin, also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
As a responsible member of the international community, China has already made efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change, even though it is exempt from carbon dioxide (CO2) emission cuts, he noted.
The target of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010 is not just an "ambitious plan" to conserve energy but also a responsible commitment to the environment.
The nation has the second largest CO2 emissions behind the US. A report last November released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that China would surpass the US and become the world's top CO2 emitter by 2009.
The exemption from the obligation of CO2 emission cuts by the Kyoto Protocol has brought international pressure on China but Qin sees it as an opportunity to make progress.
One of the most obvious signs of global warming is mild winters in north China, said a national report jointly released by six central government agencies and research bodies at the end of last year.
The National Assessment Report on Climate Change estimated that, on average, the temperature will increase 1.3-2.1ºC by 2020, and 2.3-3.3ºC by 2050. Global warming will negatively impact China's ecological system and cause further strains on its water resources, it said.
(China Daily March 15, 2007)