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July 17, 2010

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Working for carbon equilibrium

SHANGHAI will plant 67 hectares of trees in northwestern Gansu to help the World Expo achieve carbon equilibrium and improve the province's environment.

The trees will be planted in Huan Town, Qingyang City. The project, estimated to cost about 8.9 million yuan (US$1.31 million), will be finished next June, officials from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

The forest will absorb 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide during the next 30 years, which will be donated to the Expo.

The money for the trees in the carbon offsetting initiative comes from donations and the China Environmental Protection Foundation.

Qingyang City is in eastern Gansu and Huan Town is next to two deserts in an area known for serious desertification. Its water resources are less than 25 percent of the national average.

About 97 percent of the town's water resources can not be used for either drinking or crop irrigation.

The town's forest coverage is only 5.8 percent, far lower than the 25 percent global level and its land is overfarmed.

Shanghai will also introduce projects such as rainwater collection and water purification in Huan Town.

Shanghai environmental officials said in May that the Expo will realize 60 to 70 percent of carbon offsets before the event ends on October 31 and reach carbon equilibrium four to five years later with the help of low-carbon technologies and by planting green spaces.

To help host a low-carbon Expo, green concepts were used in the design and construction of the event's pavilions and buildings.

Advanced technologies such as renewable energy, ground source heat pumps, advanced garbage recycling, roof rainwater harvesting and water-saving irrigation have been used at the Expo.


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