China has set ambitious and challenging goals on reducing carbon emissions. [File photo]
The world can be assured that China is self-motivated to fight climate change, as the country suffers environmental woes and sees the endeavor as crucial to shifting its economic growth mode.
Countries are calculating China's commitment in combating climate change as the actions of the world's second-largest economy and the most populous country have come into the limelight at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.
A green and low-carbon development path is China's only choice if the country is to realize sustainable growth, as China has a large population but limited resources and a vulnerable environment.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) identified promoting "ecological progress" as one of the country's top development priorities at the Party's 18th National Congress held earlier this month.
China is faced with "increasing resource constraints, severe environmental pollution and a deteriorating ecosystem," according to a CPC Central Committee report to the congress.
The Chinese public have become increasingly aware of environmental problems. A recent survey, conducted by the Center for China Climate Change Communication among more than 4,000 mainland residents, showed that 93 percent of respondents agree that climate change has already taken its toll.
Environmental problems have touched off several mass protests in recent years. The local government in the city of Qidong of east China's Jiangsu Province earlier this year canceled an industrial waste pipeline project hours after thousands of angry residents protested against the plan to build it.
The angry scenes came on the heels of similar demonstrations against industrial projects out of environmental concerns in the southwestern city of Shifang in Sichuan Province in July.
Meanwhile, China is prone to extreme weather, and climate change is reckoned to be behind the rise of natural disasters. The country's 674 million rural residents, especially those living in absolute poverty, are susceptible to natural disasters.