Initiative will allow for sustainable development

By Hu Yinan (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-05 06:58

The country's first climate change initiative will take an integrated approach that allows for sustainable development, Ma Kai, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the plan's official release yesterday.

The National Climate Change Program was released in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which China signed in 1992.

The plan lays out six key principles, one of which allows the country to pursue a sustainable development strategy that adheres to the 1994 national white paper on population, environment and development in the 21st Century as well as the 2003 State action program for sustainable development in the early 21st century.

A second principle is that climate change policies will only be judged effective if they take socioeconomic considerations into account. For example, climate change policies will have to address agriculture and other development issues.

China will also observe the UNFCCC principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", according to which developed countries should take the lead in reducing emissions and support to developing countries.

While the national program outlines an equal emphasis on mitigation and adaptation, it makes clear that for developing countries, adaptation to climate change is "a more present and imminent task" than mitigation, which it describes as "a long and arduous challenge".

In addition, the plan recognizes the role scientific and technological innovations have in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The plan says China will strive "to develop new and renewable energy technologies and new technologies of energy conservation" as well as "promote carbon sink technologies and other adaptive technologies".

Finally, the plan positions its principles in the context of international cooperation.

Despite differences over how to cope with the threat of climate change, most countries are willing to address its challenges through cooperation and dialogue, the plan says.

(China Daily 06/05/2007 page4)

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