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China made 'real progress' in carbon emission legislation, study finds

2013-04-19 09:13 Global Times     Web Editor: Wang YuXia comment

China has made clear progress dealing with climate change in legislation and more efforts from lawmakers to reduce carbon emission is urgent, according to a study launched on Thursday by an international organization of legislators.

GLOBE International, a network of cross-party legislators from more than 30 countries, looked into 33 countries around the globe in 2012, of which 18, including China, had made real progress in climate change legislation and 14 have made some progress. Canada was noted to have made no progress because it passed legislation to back out of the Kyoto Protocol.

"China's efficiency in the use of energy resources is very low which makes the country the world's top emitter," Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the press conference to launch the study.

Chinese legislators are preparing a draft of a comprehensive climate change law that will be presented to the National People's Congress in two years, Xie said.

China's carbon reduction goal as stated in its 12th Five-Year Plan released in March 2011 calls for a reduction of carbon emissions per unit of GDP to 17 percent below 2005's level by 2015.

This effort to achieve more efficient use of nonrenewable carbon-based fuels still allows emissions to increase as the economy expands.

In 2005, China released about 5.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air, according to statistics from the International Energy Agency.  Joint research by Fudan University in Shanghai and the London-based Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research showed that in 2011 China emitted 9.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or 28 percent of the worldwide total of 34 billion tons. 

"China has worked hard to replace outdated coal-fired generating plants. Those that have been closed generated more electricity than is produced in the United Kingdom. There will be difficulties meeting the targets but they must be reached," Xie told the Global Times on Thursday.

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