China Perspective

Comprehensive approach on climate change

Updated: 2009-12-15 04:36

COPENHAGEN: In order to deal with climate change, efforts should be made simultaneously in fields of politics, economy, society, culture and ecology, a senior Chinese official told Xinhua.

Only through this comprehensive approach can lead to the forming of a systematic framework against climate change and push forward the harmonious and sustainable development between human and nature," said Zhao Baige, vice minister of China's National Population and Family Planning Commission.

With the efforts of all countries in recent years, great progress has been made in fighting climate change. But obvious shortcomings existed, Zhao said.

In the past, much attention was paid to carbon dioxide emissions, but little was given to their correlation with population development, she said. In addition, the roles of politics, culture and society have often been neglected, she added.

Zhao said it is a complicated and huge systematic project to deal with climate change, involving different sectors.

With regard to politics, she said all governments must attach great importance to climate change and honor their commitments. A body should be established to coordinate departments involved, while a long-term plan and a legal framework for climate change should be established.

On economy, Zhao said, "it is impossible to deal with climate change without economic support." She suggested developing countries follow a  path of sustainable development when they push forward economic development.

At present, China is on its way of adjusting its industrial structure, setting carbon emission cut targets, strengthening technical innovation, raising energy efficiency and rapidly developing renewable energy.

In the social sector, Zhao said a comprehensive review over the impact of climate change is needed. The principle of equity and fairness should be introduced and a low-carbon consumption mode should be encouraged.

Zhao said a lot of efforts are needed in the sector of culture.

Thousands of years ago, Chinese started to believe that mankind should live in harmony with the nature, said Zhao, adding that China's traditional culture emphasizes the unity of personal rights and responsibilities.

However, she pointed out that in Western countries, personal rights are "over emphasized" while collective responsibilities are neglected.

In fact, China has formed a long-term low-carbon consumption behavior, while overconsumption and luxury consumption widely exist in the West, said the Chinese official.

As for the sector of ecology, Zhao said climate change and ecology are interrelated. In recent years, China has adopted a series of measures including developing ecological agriculture, raising land utilization efficiency, saving water resources and reducing pollution.

Zhao stressed the importance of the interrelationship between the five above-mentioned fields, saying that only with a clear political direction, correct strategy and policy measures, can a country put carbon reduction targets into practice and adopt a low-carbon path.