Climate change is a global issue of common concern to the international community. In recent years, worldwide heat waves, droughts, floods and other extreme climate events have occurred frequently, making the impact of climate change increasingly prominent. It has become a main world trend that all countries join hands to respond to climate change and promote green and low-carbon development.

China is the world's largest developing country, with a large population, insufficient energy resources, complex climate and fragile eco-environment. It has not yet completed the historical task of industrialization and urbanization and its development is unbalanced. China's per-capita GDP in 2010 was only a little more than RMB29,000. By the UN standard for poverty, China still has a poverty-stricken population of over 100 million, thus it faces an extremely arduous task in developing its economy, eliminating poverty and improving the people's livelihood. In the meantime, China is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Climate change generates many negative effects on China's economic and social development, posing a major challenge to the country's sustainable development.

The Chinese government constantly sets great store by the issue of climate change and has included addressing climate change into its mid- and long-term planning for economic and social development as a major issue concerning its overall economic and social development. In 2006, China set forth the compulsive goal of reducing its per-unit GDP energy consumption in 2010 by 20 percent from that of 2005. In 2007, China became the first developing country to formulate and implement a national program to address climate change. In 2009, China put forward the goal of action to reduce the per-unit GDP greenhouse gas emission in 2020 by 40-45 percent as compared to that of 2005.

To accomplish the above goals, China adopted a range of major policy measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period, and has achieved remarkable results. The Outline of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development released in 2011 established the policy orientation of promoting green and low-carbon development, and expressly set out the objectives and tasks of addressing climate change for the next five years. China has been playing a constructive role in international negotiations on climate change, actively pushing forward the negotiation process, thereby making a significant contribution to addressing global climate change. This white paper is hereby issued to enable the international community to fully understand China's policies and actions for addressing climate change, and the positive results achieved in this regard during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period, as well as China's overall arrangements to address climate change and its related negotiating position during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).