China announces targets on carbon dioxide emission cuts

BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The State Council announced Thursday that China is going to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent compared with the level of 2005.

This is "a voluntary action" taken by the Chinese government "based on our own national conditions" and "is a major contribution to the global effort in tackling climate change," the State Council said.

In a meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday, the State Council reviewed a national task plan addressing climate change.

According to a press release released on Thursday, the index of carbon dioxide emission cut, announced for the first time by China, will "a binding goal" to be incorporated into China's mid- and long-term national social and economic development plans, and new measures will be formulated to audit, monitor and assess its implementation.

China will also devote major efforts to developing renewable and nuclear energies to ensure that the consumption of non-fossil power account for 15 percent of the country's total primary energy consumption by 2020, said the statement.

China will plant more trees and increase the country's forest area and stock volume by 40 million hectares and 1.3 billion cubic meters, respectively, from the level of 2005.

The State Council said as a responsible developing nation, China advocates global concerted efforts in addressing climate change "through pragmatic and effective international cooperation."

The Chinese cabinet reiterated the principled stand for implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

Both the the UNFCCC principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the Bali Roadmap authorizations should be observed, the State Council said.

The UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol should be carried out in a comprehensive, effective and lasting way, and emissions alleviation, adaptation, technological transfer and financial support should be coordinated in a comprehensive way to help bring out positive results for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in December in Copenhagen, the State Council said.

"Appropriate handling of the climate change issue is of vital interest to China's social and economic development and people's benefits, as well as the interests of all the people in the world and the world's long-term development," the State Council said in the statement.

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