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National plan for climate change

CHINA is working on a national plan to cope with the issue of climate change, according to a senior official.

"We are working on a further national plan based on a longer term in a bid to strengthen the enforcement of international treaties about the issue," said Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The plan is designed to better tackle climate change and boost economic growth at the same time, Xie said.

He did not elaborate on the plan, saying only that the country sought to accumulate useful experiences to establish a low-carbon economy through some pilot projects.

In 2007, a national leading group on climate change, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, was set up to oversee issues related to climate change.

In the same year, the Chinese government issued the National Climate Change Program, the first of its kind issued by a developing country, which worked out strategies and measures to tackle climate change.

China's "green" determination has been boosted by the country's achievements in its environmental initiatives. Figures show China's energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 4.59 percent in 2008.

Last year chemical oxygen demand, a main index of water pollution, went down 4.42 percent. And the total emission of sulfur dioxide, a main air pollutant, dropped 5.95 percent.

"The Chinese government has actively participated in international talks on climate change and we have presented our own proposals on nearly every relevant issue," Xie said.

Combating climate change cannot be slowed by the global financial crisis, he said.

However, he noted that expectations put on China by the international community should be "fair and reasonable," citing the fact that China's current average per capita greenhouse gas emission volume was only a third of that in developed countries.

China will try to reduce emissions while making efforts to eliminate poverty and improve its citizens' livelihoods, Xie said.

Talking in advance of yesterday's China-EU Summit in Prague, Xie said China valued its cooperation with the EU and was willing to coordinate with it on policies and projects about global actions against climate change.


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