| Kazuhiko Makita |
SHENYANG, China — China, the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases, is stepping up efforts to reduce its emissions.
In late August, the government affiliated National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation sponsored a forum in Beijing. Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said in remarks at the opening of the forum, “China has made important contributions to measures to fight climate change that affects the entire world.”
Xie holds a ministerial level position.
China’s carbon dioxide emissions continue to grow.
However, its emissions per unit of gross domestic product in 2013 were 28 per cent lower than in 2005.
China has set a target of slashing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 per cent to 45 per cent by 2020 from 2005 levels. It has upgraded and overhauled energyinefficient coal boilers and is expanding areas where forests are being planted. Beijing and Washington are taking a coordinated approach when it comes to combating global warming. At the US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in July, “climate change was an issue given top priority,” according to sources familiar with the talks.
China and the United States have started joint projects, such as developing methods to reduce emissions produced by large vehicles, as work proceeds to devise a new international framework to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Severe domestic environmental degradation has also spurred China to tackle climate issues more forcefully.
Atmospheric pollution, caused by PM2.5 contained in vehicle emissions and factory smoke emissions, and water contamination, caused by toxic substances in factory wastewater, have harmed residents’ health and sparked frequent demonstrations against local authorities and corporations in many areas.
Putting off dealing with these problems could require costly cleanup measures that would strain public finances later. Because they could even affect the stability of the administration, the government is gripped by a sense of urgency.
At a climate conference in June, Xie said, “We aim to submit our action goals as soon as we can in the first half of next year.”
However, China categorises itself as a developing country, and still insists that industrially advanced nations should accept tougher emission reduction obligations than developing states. – (WP-Bloom)