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Low carbon economy helps tackle financial crisis, climate change
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Development of the innovative low carbon economy, or the so-called Green New Deal, can help tackle the serious financial crisis and the global climate change, a German scholar told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Monday.

"We need to fight the impacts of the financial crisis, the recession and climate change simultaneously with significant low carbon investments, innovation initiatives, and eco-efficiency oriented business models," said Dirk Messner, director of the German Development Institute.

"The financial crisis and global climate change are the two top topics in the world," said Messner, who is in Beijing to attend the three-day 10th China Development Forum ending Monday.

Innovative low carbon economy can both help stimulate the economic growth and protect environment to ensure sustainable development, he added.

Messner warned that if this green economic model were not established, the human being would face the aftermath of an irreversible worldwide climate crisis.

"In order to promote the environment-friendly economy, we need to launch large scale public and private investments in renewable energy," he said.

"As another cornerstone of a low carbon transformation strategy, we should also launch a significant program designed to develop climate-compatible cities," he added.

"Over 50 percent of mankind live in the urban areas, and the figure is rising," Messner said, adding that cities are responsible for 75 percent of global energy consumption and 80 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Messner took a Chinese program as an example, saying that "in the south of Shanghai, an ecocity called Dongtan is being built."

"An initiative of this kind would be a major generator of jobs and green innovation," said Messner.

He stressed that the improvement of energy efficiency and the development of cities should be well combined.

Messner also highly appreciated the Chinese government's environment protection measures.

"The Chinese government used long paragraphs to talk about environment protection in the Report on the Work of the Government and has taken a series of concrete measures to protect environment. I think it's good and praiseworthy," he said.

He noted that China has developed rapidly and invested a lot in the field of environment protection in recent years. "China has big chance and room to develop low carbon economy," he added.

Messner also stressed the importance of international cooperation, saying that global collective action is necessary and efforts toward effective global governance initiatives and processes should be strengthened.

"It is important to make sure that developing countries are fully engaged in these discussions", he said, adding that "the climate summit set for Copenhagen in late 2009 must not end in failure."

Heads of state from many countries will try to reach a pact to combat global warming at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

The Chinese government recently said China would work with other parties under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" to ensure the success of the Copenhagen conference.

Sponsored by the Development Research Center under the State Council, or China's cabinet, the China Development Forum was founded in 2000, which aimed to support and promote policy consultation and academic research in China.

High-level officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and leaders from international and nongovernmental organizations attended this year's forum, focusing on the theme of China's Development and Reform in the Global Financial Turmoil.

(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2009)

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