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Further national plan to address climate change
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A senior Chinese official told Xinhua Tuesday that the country is working on a national plan to further cope with the issue of climate change.

"We are working on a further national plan based on a longer term in a bid to strengthen the enforcement of international treaties about the issue," said Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The plan is aimed to better tackle the climate change and boost economic growth in the meantime, Xie added.

The Chinese chief climate negotiator did not elaborate the plan, only saying that the country eyes on accumulating useful experiences to establish a low-carbon economy through some pilot projects.

In 2007, a national leading group on climate change, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, was set up to oversee the issues related to climate change.

In the same year, the Chinese government issued the National Climate Change Program, the first of its kind issued by a developing country, which worked out the strategies and measures to tackle climate change.

China's "green" determination has been boosted by the country's achievements in its environmental initiatives. Figures show China's energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 4.59 percent in 2008, and 10.08 percent from 2006 to 2008.

Last year chemical oxygen demand (COD), a main index of water pollution, went down 4.42 percent. And the total emission of sulfur dioxide, a main air pollutant, dropped 5.95 percent. The emission of the two chemicals declined 6.61 percent and 8.95 percent respectively in the past three years, according to the statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planning agency.

"The Chinese government has actively participated in international talks on climate change and we have presented our own proposals on nearly every relevant issue," said Xie, deputy head of the NDRC.

Combating the climate change cannot be slowed by the global financial crisis, he added.

However, he noted that expectations put on China by the international community should be "fair and reasonable", citing the fact that China's current average per capita greenhouse gas emission volume is only a third of that in developed countries.

China will try to reduce emissions while making efforts to eliminate poverty and improve its citizens' livelihood, and not to follow the developed countries' traditional development model based on high-emission and high-pollution, Xie stressed.

Talking about the upcoming China-European Union (EU) Summit, Xie expressed his confidence in bilateral cooperation to address the issue of climate change.

"China and the EU share great potential to cooperate in the issue", Xie said, noting that China values its cooperation with the European Union and is willing to coordinate with the European Union on new policies and projects about global actions against climate change.

The EU-China Summit has become an annual high-level political consultative mechanism. Premier Wen Jiabao will go for the 11th EU-China Summit on May 20 in Prague, the Czech Republic, which is holding the EU presidency.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2009)

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