Expert says China's carbon plan is binding

By Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-11 08:16
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COPENHAGEN: China's mid-term carbon intensity cut target is proposed to be a legal-binding guideline for its economic and social development in its 12th and 13th five-year plan period (2010-2020), the country's top energy expert declared in Copenhagen Thursday.

He Jiankun, vice-chairman of the China Expert Panel on Climate Change, has led his research team to map the energy and greenhouse gas emission control blueprint in 2020 for the Chinese government to make policy.

The target, which is to cut CO2 emission per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent in 2020 relative to the 2005 intensity level, was released one week ago before the Chinese delegation headed to Copenhagen and sends a strong signal of the nation's political will to reach a successful deal to follow the Kyoto Protocol.

To ensure the target, China will set up a set of transparent and fair systems on statistics, monitoring and assessment, according to He.

"This is China's initiative to mitigate climate change," He said. "It is in line with the country's basic conditions, which is standing in the process of industrialization. The domestic target is abided by the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibility', which is stipulated by UNFCCC."

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He said setting up the target will help China, the world biggest greenhouse gas emitter, to move from an unsustainable development mode onto an energy-saving track.

China is in the middle of its 11th Five-Year Plan Period (2006-10), when the energy consumption per unit of GDP is targeted to be reduced by 20 percent in the five years.

And He believed it is a breakthrough for China, a country in the middle of the industrialization process, not to follow the development path of rich countries. The breakthrough, according to He, costs China an additional investment of 1 trillion yuan.

However, some rich countries have distorted China's initiative efforts soon after the crucial negotiation started, He said.

The US delegation told a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that China should not set the 40-45 target as a domestic target, but make it an international binding commitment.