China strives to reach emission goal

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China is trying to reach its emission reduction goal, said the head of the Chinese delegation at the ongoing UN climate change conferenceĀ in CancunĀ on Monday.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said China tries to tackle climate change and protect the environment while keeping economic development.

"China faces many challenges including developing the economy, eliminating poverty, protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse emissions. We are learning from developed countries in facing climate change and trying to avoid their mistakes and lessons," Xie told a news conference.

China has a development issue. With its large population, weak economic foundation and imbalanced development, China is not yet a rich country. Its per capita GDP is around 3,700 U.S. dollars, ranking 100th among all the countries. According to the United Nations' standard of impoverished people, China has 150 million people living under the poverty line.

Meanwhile, China is striving to cut emissions. "In the process of its industrialization and urbanization, China's greenhouse emissions are not endless. We adopt a series of actions such as saving energy, improving energy efficiency, adjusting energy mix, transforming the development mode and developing renewable energy," he said.

China has contributed a great deal to the fight against climate change and announced at last year's Copenhagen conference that it would reduce the intensity of carbon emissions per unit of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.

Xie said China would keep its promise. "We will stick to our promise. Only when the parties keep their promises and try to do more, can they make progress on the mitigation issue," he said in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday.

China is expected to achieve at the end of this year its goal set in its 11th five-year plan of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent, said Xie in the interview.

In order to push for substantial achievements at Cancun, China proposed that signatories to the Kyoto Protocol make their promises in the second commitment period, while the United States make comparable promises under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and developing countries make emission reduction pledges on their own will, according to Xie.

The Kyoto Protocol provides for mandatory emission targets for developed countries, but the United States has withdrawn from it.

"The suggestion has won a lot of support. We hope it can help us find a solution to the emission reduction issue," he said.

The Cancun talks, scheduled for Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, has attracted about 25,000 participants from governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and research institutions in almost 200 countries.

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