(Jun 1, 2007)

China notices effects of global warming daily

From Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - The impact of global warming on China is clearer each day, but climate change must be tackled in a way that allows sustainable development, a top-level meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao agreed.

The world's number two emitter of greenhouse gasses will release its first national plan to curb rising emissions next week, seeking to rebut international criticism that it is not doing enough on the issue.

Officials in China's State Council, or cabinet, called at their meeting for countries to bear "shared but different" responsibilities to combat rising temperatures, a report posted on the main government Web site (www.gov.cn) on Friday said.

The comments were in line with Beijing's stance that China should not have to sacrifice the emissions-intensive economic growth which industrialized nations went through on their path to greater prosperity.

It says China's low per capita emissions levels, and rich countries' responsibility for most of the global warming gasses in the atmosphere, mean the West should take stronger action to cut its own pollution.

However the cabinet agreed climate change had a direct impact on the country's fundamental interests, and China attached great importance to tackling it, the report said.

"Every region and government department should fully recognize the importance and urgency of combating climate change," it added.

China looks set to become the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide this year or next, just as serious talks start to extend the U.N.-sponsored Kyoto Protocol on global warming beyond 2012.

Next week President Hu Jintao attends a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Germany at which global warming will be high on the agenda.

But Chinese officials have already reaffirmed Beijing's rejection of compulsory caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists say are heating the planet.

Russia denies harm to environment from nuclear fuel tanks »
« Japan threatens to leave whaling meeting

Issue 25

Sign up for Plenty's Weekly Newsletter