Time is of the essence at Cancun

By Li Xing
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, December 10, 2010
Adjust font size:

Alejandro Garcia and many of his friends work as volunteers at the Moon Palace, the main venue for the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference.

"I don't know how much progress they're making," Garcia, a 22-year-old student at Anahuac University in Cancun, admitted.

"But I know the conference is good for the people of the world. It will keep the planet healthy and livable for our children," he said.

With all the contradictions and conflict inherent in the negotiations, Garcia's confidence is heartening.

Each of us - officials, activists, and journalists - left a substantial carbon footprint just to get here. According to the host's website, I will have created 14.51 tons of carbon dioxide traveling to Cancun from Beijing and riding buses every day between my hotel and the conference venues.

All of us are working to rally the political will of more than 190 countries to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Climate change is real and time is of the essence. Nations must not wait until the negotiators hammer out the legal documents to take action.

China is not waiting. It is quickening its steps to cut fossil fuel consumption, plant more trees, and above all reduce the intensity of carbon emissions per unit of its GDP, as Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation, has repeatedly explained.

Xie has also said that China is considering putting climate legislation in its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), in addition to measures promoting energy conservation, renewable energy, and environmental protection.

In November, six Chinese government agencies announced that they were finalizing a set of national energy efficiency regulations.

Under the new rules, power companies must use at least 0.3 percent of their electricity revenues to develop programs to help factories, businesses, and households invest in energy efficiency. The companies will also be asked to save energy, with binding targets set at 0.3 percent of the previous year's maximum load.

According to calculations by the US National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a 0.3 reduction in power usage a year "would roughly translate to 11 billion kilo watts per hour (kWh) - enough electricity to supply 1 million average US households (or 10 million Chinese homes) for a year".

Chinese businesses are not waiting. In Cancun, their representatives have demonstrated a series of endeavors to develop low-carbon construction, green transportation, and other energy savings.

Chinese NGOs and international organizations working in China are not waiting.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter