China can't afford to give up development for low-carbon

By Xiao Ping
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, December 1, 2010
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By Liu Rui 

At present, there are many discussions of China's climate change policies both at home and abroad. One model sees China switching to low carbon before developing further, while the other, currently favored by the Chinese government, is to attempt to lower emissions while furthering development.

It's unreasonable to expect China to meet low-carbon targets before pushing development forward. Setting frameworks in advance, designing binding targets, and forcing China to passively accept a conditional development model simply will not work, and does not take into account China's national conditions.

The goal of low carbon includes many aspects, like urbanization, culture, economy, politics, and diplomacy. China's attempts to lower emissions cannot be confined purely to the economy.

Development is the top priority, which not only refers to economic growth, but also the achievement of material wealth, cultural satisfaction and a harmonious relationship between human and nature.

Development is the most important task at present, so we cannot talk about low-carbon goals without considering development. China has started an economic and social development process of ecological improvement and sustainable resources.

Unlike Western developed countries that are currently in a post-industrial phase, China is currently in the middle stage of industrialization and urbanization. Its energy structure is dominated by fossil energy, with coal, oil, natural gas and other high-carbon sources accounting for up to 90 percent of energy. Coal by itself still produces 68 percent of supply, and industrialization means an increasing demand for energy.

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