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White paper: China's policies and actions on climate change
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III. Strategies and Objectives for Addressing Climate Change

To address climate change, China adheres to the following guidelines: To give full effect to the Scientific Outlook on Development, adhere to the fundamental state policy of resources conservation and environ-mental protection, control greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the country's capacity for sustainable development, center on securing economic development and accelerate the transformation of the pattern of economic development, focus on conserving energy, optimizing the energy structure and strengthening eco-preservation and construction, and rely on the advancement of science and technology, increase international cooperation, constantly enhance the capability in coping with climate change, and make new contribution in protecting the world environment.

To address climate change, China sticks to the following principles:

— To address climate change within the framework of sustainable development. Climate change arises out of development, and should thus be solved along with development. It is necessary to promote sustain-able development amidst efforts to address climate change, and strive to achieve the goal of win-win in both.

— To uphold the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," which is a core principle of the UNFCCC. Both developed and developing countries are obligated to adopt measures to decelerate and adapt to climate change. But the level of their historical responsibilities, level and stage of development, and capabilities and ways of contribution vary. Developed countries should be responsible for their accumulative emissions and current high per-capita emissions, and take the lead in reducing emissions, in addition to providing financial support and transferring technologies to developing countries. The developing countries, while developing their economies and fighting poverty, should actively adopt adaptation measures, reduce their emissions to the lowest degree and fulfill their duties in addressing climate change.

— To place equal emphasis on both deceleration and adaptation. Deceleration and adaptation are integral components of the strategy for coping with climate change. Deceleration is a long and arduous challenge, while adaptation is a more present and imminent task. The latter is more important for developing countries. The two must be well coordinated, and with equal stress placed on them.

— The UNFCCC and the Tokyo Protocol are the main programs for addressing climate change. The two documents lay the legal foundation for international cooperation in dealing with climate change, and reflect the common understanding of the international community. They are the most authoritative, universal and comprehensive international framework for coping with climate change. Their status as the kernel mechanism and leading programs should be unswervingly up-held, and other types of bilateral and multilateral cooperation should be supplementary.

— To rely on the advancement and innovation of science and technology. Technological advancement and innovation are the basis and support for tackling climate change. While promoting their own technological development and application, developed countries are obligated to promote international technological cooperation and transfer, and concretely materialize their promises to provide financial and technological support to developing countries, so that the latter can get the funds needed, apply climate-friendly technologies, and build up their capacity to decelerate and adapt to climate change.

— To rely on mass participation and extensive international cooperation. Dealing with climate change requires changes in the traditional ways of production and consumption, and the participation of the whole of society. China is working to build a resources-conserving and environmental-friendly society, foster a social atmosphere in which the enterprises and the public participate on a voluntary basis under the guidance of the government, and raise enterprises' awareness of corporate social responsibility and the public's awareness of the necessity of care for the global environment. A challenge faced by the entire world, climate change cannot be solved without global co-operation and concerted efforts. China will, as always, participate in all modes of international cooperation that are conducive to tackling climate change.

China National Plan for Coping with Climate Change, released by the Chinese government in June 2007, set the following objectives to be met by 2010: Policies and measures concerning control of greenhouse gas emissions should achieve significant results, the capability of adaptation to climate change should be relentlessly enhanced, climate-change-related research should be promoted and new development should be made in scientific research related to climate change. In addition, the public awareness of the importance of tackling climate change should be enhanced, and the institutions and mechanisms for dealing with climate change should be further strengthened.

Control of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

— Striving to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through accelerating the transformation of the country's economic development pattern, strengthening policy guidance concerning energy conservation and efficient utilization, intensifying administration of energy conservation in accordance with the law, speeding up development, demonstration and application of energy conservation technologies, giving full play to the role of new market-based mechanisms for energy conservation, enhancing public awareness of the importance of energy conservation, and accelerating the building of a resource-conserving society. Through these measures, the energy consumption per-unit GDP is expected to drop by about 20 percent by 2010 compared to that of 2005, and carbon dioxide emissions will consequently be reduced.

— Optimizing the energy consumption structure through developing renewable energy, boosting nuclear power plant construction and speeding up the development and utilization of coal-bed gas. The target by 2010 is to raise the proportion of renewable energy (including large-scale hydropower) in the primary energy supply by up to 10 percent, and the extraction of coal-bed gas up to 10 billion cu m.

— Controlling greenhouse gas emissions generated by industrial production through reinforcing industrial policies concerning the metallurgy, building materials and chemical industries, developing a recycling economy, raising resources utilization efficiency and strengthening control of emissions of nitrous oxide. By 2010, the emissions of nitrous oxide from industrial production should be no higher than in 2005.

— Striving to control emissions of methane by continuously spreading low-emission and high-yield rice varieties, semi-drought rice cultivation, scientific irrigation and the technology of application of fertilizers according to the results of tests of local soil, and strengthening R&D on fine ruminant animal breeds, large-scale breeding and management techniques, strengthening management of animal waste, waste water and solid waste, and expanding the utilization of methane.

— Striving to realize the target of a 20-percent increase in the forest coverage rate by 2010, and an increase of annual volume of carbon dioxide in carbon sinks by 50 million tons compared to that of 2005 through continuing key projects in afforestation, returning farmland to forest and grassland, and farmland capital construction, and implementing relevant policies.

Enhancing the Capacity of Adaptation to Climate Change

— Through improving the multi-disaster monitoring and early warning mechanisms, the policy-making and coordination mechanisms with more than one department involved, the action mechanism with extensive public participation, the capability of monitoring and forecasting meteorological disasters will be strengthened. By 2010, a number of meteorological disaster prevention projects will be completed and play a fundamental, overall and vital role in the economy and society, so as to enhance the country's comprehensive capacity to monitor, warn about and cope with meteorological disasters, and reduce the damage from them.

— Through shoring up farmland capital construction, adjusting cropping systems, breeding stress-resistant varieties, developing bio-technologies and other adaptive measures, by 2010 some 24 million ha of grassland will be improved, 52 million ha of grassland suffering from degradation, desertification and salinity will be restored, and the efficient utilization coefficient of agricultural irrigation water will be raised to 0.5.

— Through strengthening natural forest conservation and nature re-serve management, continuing key eco-protection projects, establishing important ecosystems, and stepping up natural ecological restoration, by 2010 some 90 percent of typical forest ecosystems and key national wildlife species will be under effective protection; nature reserves will account for 16 percent of the national territory; 250,000 sq km of land suffering from water and soil erosion will have been improved; 300,000 sq km of land will have been ecologically restored; and 22 million ha of desertified land will have been put under control.

— Through rational development and optimized allocation of water resources, improving new mechanisms for farmland water conservancy, strengthening measures for water conservation and hydrological monitoring, by 2010 the vulnerability of China's water resources to climate change will have been alleviated; concrete progress will have been made to build a water-conserving society; an anti-flood system of large rivers will be in place; and the standard for drought resistance of farmland will have been raised.

— Through scientifically monitoring the trend of sea level change, controlling marine and coastal ecosystems, rationally exploiting the coast, protecting coastal wetlands and planting coastal shelterbelts, China aims to restore the mangrove swamps by 2010, and raise the coastal areas' capability to resist marine disasters.

Strengthening R&D

— Through strengthening basic research on climate change, further developing and improving research and analytical methods, and intensifying the training of professionals and decision-makers in relevant fields, China aims to keep up with international advanced level in fields related to climate change by 2010, so that it will have solid scientific ground for drafting national strategies and policies on climate change, and in participating in international cooperation in this regard.

— Through building up its innovation capacity, and promoting inter-national cooperation and technology transfer, by 2010 China will make big breakthroughs in technologies of energy development and conservation, and clean energy; quicken the industrial application of advanced technologies; enhance the technological capacity of agriculture, water conservancy and forestry sectors to adapt to climate change; and provide strong scientific support for efforts to address climate change.

Enhancing Public Awareness and Improving Management

— Through more publicity, education and training by means of modern information dissemination technologies to encourage public participation, by 2010 it is expected that public awareness of the problem of climate change will have been made universal, and a social environment conducive to addressing climate change will be in place.

— Through improving the multi-ministerial decision-making coordination mechanism and building an action mechanism involving a wide range of enterprise and public participation, China aims to establish an efficient institutional and management framework commensurate with the work to address climate change.

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