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China wins praise for efforts on clean energy, climate front
SendTime:2009-11-9   Hits:5750

To Liu Lei, it was meaningful to take the subway instead of driving to reach the China Energy and Environment Summit, which concluded in Beijing on Nov 3.

"After a heavy snow Sunday (Nov 1), it's really cold in the morning. I spent nearly one hour on Metro Line 5 and Line 10 to come to the venue," said the 44-year-old man, who is a chief advisor to a Taiwan software company.

Liu, a self-branded environmentalist from Sichuan province, joined 300 government officials, entrepreneurs and industry experts at the two-day forum to discuss clean energy in China.

Liu said Beijing's public transit system has developed quickly over the last several years and is capable of providing fast and convenient service.

In the face of heavy air pollution and road congestion, Beijing has been aggressive in building a strong public transit system, and in calling on residents to drive less and use the subway more.

Apart from Beijing, other big cities across the country have also spent heavily in building public transportation facilities.

China has also been aggressive in developing renewable energy such as wind and solar.

By the end of last year, China had a total installed wind power capacity of more than 12 gigawatts, which puts it among the top four countries for wind power capacity. The sector has reported more than 100 percent growth year-on-year over the past three years, according to the National Energy Administration. Officials estimated China's wind power capacity will be close to 20 gigawatts by the end of this year.

In solar power, China has the world's largest solar heat concentration surface for water heating. It also ranks at the top in nuclear power capacity under construction.

China has also been ambitious in improving energy efficiency, calling for a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity between 2005 and 2010.

"In developing clean energy and coping with climate change, China is one of the most active governments in the world," said Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Li said one of the goals for dealing with climate change outlined earlier by Chinese President Hu Jintao was to increase the proportion of non-fossil fuel to 15 percent of the nation's energy supply by 2020.

Although the United States has not yet set its non-fossil fuel target, Li said, Japan and the European Union each set their targets at 20 percent.

However, China's energy consumption is still growing 6 percent annually on average, while Japan and the EU are seeing consumption declining, Li told the forum.

"China has impressive policies and has made serious efforts on energy saving, energy conservation and improving energy efficiency," said Bernice Lee, research director of the Energy, Environment and Resource Governance under the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).


"China is genuinely committed to tackling the impacts of climate change, as manifested by its national strategy," she said.

Li of the NDRC also said that China should continue making efforts to cope with climate change.

"It is never enough to do good things, but a bit of bad things could be more than enough," he said.

Li said individual behaviors unfriendly to the environment have become an obstacle to tackling climate change in China.

"Compared with developing clean energy, it will be more difficult to change people's consumption perceptions and behavior," he said.


"China has impressive policies and has made serious efforts on energy saving, energy conservation and improving energy efficiency," said Bernice Lee, research director of the Energy, Environment and Resource Governance under the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).

"China is genuinely committed to tackling the impacts of climate change, as manifested by its national strategy," she said.

Li of the NDRC also said that China should continue making efforts to cope with climate change.

"It is never enough to do good things, but a bit of bad things could be more than enough," he said.

Li said individual behaviors unfriendly to the environment have become an obstacle to tackling climate change in China.

"Compared with developing clean energy, it will be more difficult to change people's consumption perceptions and behavior," he said.

"China has impressive policies and has made serious efforts on energy saving, energy conservation and improving energy efficiency," said Bernice Lee, research director of the Energy, Environment and Resource Governance under the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).

"China is genuinely committed to tackling the impacts of climate change, as manifested by its national strategy," she said.


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