ATHENS - Greek EU Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas has called China's latest initiative in the fight against climate change "an act of responsibility" and "a very positive" step in the right direction.
He made the remarks while addressing the 1st Greek-Chinese Forum on the Environment, which was hosted here on Thursday and Friday by the Technical Chamber of Greece and the Beijing Association for Science and Technology.
"China is a major economic power and has to play a predominant role in environmental issues," Dimas said.
Regarding the China-EU summit held on November 30, when the two sides agreed to cooperate more closely on climate change, and the upcoming UN Climate Change conference, Dimas said, "it is an act of responsibility when China steps up environmental partnerships.
Yannis Alavanos, head of Greece's Technical Chamber, stressed in his speech at the two-day event that "all targets should be achievable, measurable, verifiable, ambitious and binding in order to be credible."
In a statement released late last month, the Chinese government pledged a reduction by 40-45 percent of the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 2020 compared with the 2005 level.
Commenting on the announcement ahead of the Copenhagen conference, Takis Grigoriou, head of climate change issues in Greenpeace's Greek Bureau, called the proposal "a positive start, more serious compared to the U.S. stance so far."