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February 24, 2010

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Hu reaffirms China's steadfast commitment to climate action

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao said yesterday China was committed to fighting climate change both at home and in cooperation with the world.

Hu was addressing a study meeting attended by members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

"We must fully recognize the importance, urgency and difficulty of dealing with climate change," Hu said.

"We must make it an important strategy for our socio-economic development."

The government said some areas of the country were already seeing the effects of climate change, with higher temperatures and reduced rainfall in some parts and stronger storms in others.

China has pledged to cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each unit of economic growth by 40-45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Hu said energy saving, emission cuts and environmental awareness must be inculcated into Chinese society as a whole.

"We must actively participate in global cooperation to fight climate change," he said

According to a United Nations study released yesterday, countries would have to significantly increase pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions if there was to be any hope of preventing the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Sixty nations - including China, the United States and the 27-member European Union - met a January 31 deadline to submit pledges to the UN for reducing the heat-trapping gases as part of a plan to roll back emissions.

"Countries will have to be far more ambitious in cutting greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to effectively curb a rise in global temperature," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

"We know today that inaction on climate change in the long run will be leading to catastrophic scenarios," he said.

Steiner was on Indonesia's island of Bali for a meeting of environmental officials from more than 140 countries that starts today.


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