With its complex climate and a fragile eco-environment, China is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. And, as a developing country with a large population, a relatively low level of economic development, climate change could also affect economic and social development.
In response to the threat of global warming, China has issued a White Paper with policies and plans for addressing climate change.
The Paper says China is one of the countries most susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. The impact will be felt mainly in the fields of agriculture, livestock breeding, forestry, natural ecosystems, water resources and coastal zones.
To address climate change, China must stick to the following principles. It must address climate change within the framework of sustainable development; uphold the core principle of common but differentiated responsibilities among developed and developing countries; place equal emphasis on both deceleration and adaptation; actively participate in the major climate change programs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol; rely on the advancement and innovation of science and technology, and on mass participation and extensive international cooperation.
The Paper outlined policies and actions to decelerate climate change, including adjusting the economic structure to promote the optimizing and upgrading of the industrial structure; making great efforts to save energy and raise energy efficiency; developing renewable energy and optimizing the energy mix; developing a recycling economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture and the countryside; promoting forestation and strengthening the capacity of carbon sinks, and intensifying R&D efforts to deal with climate change scientifically.
The document stresses that China must continue to attach great importance to education concerning the environment and climate change, as well as public participation. The White Paper on Climate Change also emphasizes that governments at all levels must form institutions and mechanisms conducive to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increase financial input and improve rules conducive to decelerating and adapting to climate change, thus enhancing work on climate change in accordance with the law.
(CCTV October 30, 2008)