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
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
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
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
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)