China, Norway and UN ink deal on climate change

Updated: 2007-03-26 20:46

BEIJING - China, Norway and the UN Development Program signed an agreement on Monday to develop programs to combat the effects of climate change in China's rural areas, including the melting of glaciers in Tibet.

The programs will help provincial governments assess potential risks caused by climate change and develop ways to respond, the UNDP said in a statement.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

"The presence of the two top leaders shows the strong commitments of both governments to responding to the global challenge of climate change," Khalid Malik, the UNDP representative in China, was quoted as saying in the statement.

The statement said program will look at ways to help local governments mitigate the effects of glacial melting in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Glaciers are the world's second largest store of fresh water and feed seven of the great rivers of Asia, but are receding at a faster rate than any other glaciers in the world.

"The project will help in particular the poorest and most vulnerable regions and communities in China to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change through developing and implementing provincial strategies and associated actions and measures," Malik said.

The US$2 million (euro1.5 million) project will be funded by Norway and is expected to be launched by the middle of the year by the National Coordination Committee on Climate Change of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, and the UNDP.

The statement also said the project will look at ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the largest coal-producing provinces of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia by improving efficiency in regional industries.

In Ningxia and Gansu provinces, the project will work with governments to develop crop adaptation techniques and increase water efficiency.

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