China promised Monday to better control emissions of greenhouse gases,
unveiling a national program to combat global warming.
The program outlined steps China would take to meet a previously announced
government goal of improving overall energy efficiency in 2010 by 20 percent
over 2005's level.
"China is a developing country. Although we are not committed to quantified
emissions reduction, it does not mean we do not want to shoulder our share of
responsibilities," said Ma Kai, the minister heading the National Development
and Reform Commission, the Cabinet-level economic planning agency.
"We must reconcile the need for development with the need for environmental
protection," he told reporters. "In its course of modernization, China will not
tread the traditional path of industrialization, featuring high consumption and
high emissions. In fact, we want to blaze a new path to industrialization."
Ma, however, stressed that the bulk of responsibility for battling climate
change still lay with industrialized countries, which "are in a better position
to cap emissions."
They also have the obligation to provide financial and technical support to
developing nations - like China - whose "overriding priority at the moment is
still economic development and poverty eradication," he said.
A 62-page report released by the NDRC called for stepped-up efforts to put
the hard-charging but inefficient economy on a more sustainable footing and
promised "to make significant achievements in controlling greenhouse gas