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China to build lower carbon economy
Updated: 2005-03-16 10:19

China is committed to building a lower carbon (emission) economy to combat climate change over the coming decades, a Chinese official said Tuesday at a meeting in London.

Energy and environment ministers from 20 countries with the biggest domestic energy needs met in London on Tuesday at the start of a two-day roundtable to discuss climate change and ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

In his key-note speech, Liu Jiang, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said that as a rapidly-developing country, China has been challenged by climate change and energy scarcity.

China is among a few nations in the world that rely on coal as their major energy source. "Coal amounts to 67 percent of primary energy consumption in the country," which made it more difficult to slow down the growth momentum of carbon emission, Liu said.

In addition, he added, China's energy efficiency remains low, which has posed another problem for the country.

Against all the challenges, the Chinese government has formulated its energy development strategy with priorities on energy efficiency, energy diversification, renewable energy and related technology, Liu said.

China promulgated its Law on Renewable Energy last month. The government has been supporting the development and utilization of new and renewable energies, such as bio-gas, solar energy, wind power and geothermal energy, he said, adding that nuclear power would be another priority as a clean energy source for the country in the next 20 years.

Liu emphasized the importance of global collaboration to tackle climate change and said China is willing to work with the international community to explore solutions.

Technology development and transfer is the ultimate solution to the challenge of climate change, he said.

"At present, large-scale infrastructure construction is underway in the developing countries. Should obsolete technologies instead of advanced and climate-friendly technologies be applied on these projects, we would expect high emission of greenhouse gases in the decades to come."

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