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US 'Encouraged' by Pollution Control Moves
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The Chinese government is taking a series of aggressive measures to reduce air pollution in the run-up to the Olympic Games, a senior US environmental adviser said yesterday, and pledged to work together with the country on a long-term plan to tackle global warming.

James Connaughton, chairman of the US Council on Environmental Quality, said he was encouraged by the very significant shift in China's environmental policy during recent years, noting that the 11th Five-Year Plan guiding China's development between 2006 and 2010 emphasizes the importance of building an environmentally-friendly economy.

"China has slowly and effectively worked the philosophy of harmonious society into the policy and now the task is to translate the policy into implementation," he said.

"I think there are great challenges in China, but I've been encouraged by the innovation at the governmental level," he said.

Connaughton said there is an emerging consensus that the solution to climate change is the advancement of technology, which requires to be paid for by growing economies.

"And America stands ready to assist in technology, to assist in innovative financing and assist in standards and practices so that together we can grow our economies in a more sustainable way," he said.

As the United States struggled for years to implement strong environmental protection policies, Connaughton expressed confidence in China, saying: "We did it in less than 30 years. China can do it in less than 30 years, and that's what we look forward to."

Connaughton is in Beijing to prepare for a conference on climate change in Washington next month, which was initiated by US President George W. Bush and will be attended by leading economies including China.

During his China trip, Connaughton visited the world's largest coal methane power plant in North China's Shanxi Province. It was agreed at the second China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue that up to 15 large-scale coalmine methane capture and utilization projects would be developed in China over the next five years.

(China Daily August 15, 2007)

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