China Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change

A Hot Tip about Environmental Regulations in China

Posted on: 24 Dec 2009

In October, 2008 the Government of China (GOC) released a white paper titled "China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change," illustrating the impact of climate change on China, China’s strategies and objectives for addressing climate change, and policies and actions to mitigate/adapt to climate change.

Voluntary - Public Date: 2009-7-14 GAIN Report Number: CH9052 China - Peoples Republic of Post: Beijing China Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change Report Categories: Policy and Program Announcements Approved By: William Westman Prepared By: Chanda Beckman and Jiang Junyang Report Highlights: In October, 2008 the Government of China (GOC) released a white paper titled "China?s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change," illustrating the impact of climate change on China, China?s strategies and objectives for addressing climate change, and policies and actions to mitigate/adapt to climate change. According to the document, China's agricultural sector (including agriculture, livestock industry, and forestry), natural ecological systems, water resources, and coastal zones bear the brunt of the impact of the climate change. This report contains an unofficial translation. Executive Summary: In October, 2008, the Government of China (GOC) released a white paper entitled "China?s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change," illustrating the impact of climate change on China, China?s strategies and objectives for addressing climate change, and policies and actions to mitigate/adapt to climate change. According to the document, China's agricultural sector (including agriculture, livestock industry, and forestry), natural ecological systems, water resources, and coastal zones bear the brunt of the impact of the climate change. List of government agencies that deal with climate change Coping with climate change has been a relatively new task for China's government, even though China is arguably the largest country in the world for greenhouse gas emissions. To cope with climate change and better coordinate domestic and international endeavors, a new Department of Climate Change was created within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2008. Please see the official web announcement here: (; ). The Department of Climate Change is responsible for ?comprehensively analyzing the impact of climate change on social-economic development; organizing and coordinating the formulation of key strategies, plans and policies dealing with climate change, taking the lead in the implementation of United Nations Framework of Climate Change Convention, and in collaborating with other relative parties in international climate change negotiations; coordinating and carrying out international cooperation in response to climate change and related capacity building; organizing and implementing the work relating to clean development mechanism (CDM); and undertaking concrete work assigned by the National Leading Group Dealing with Climate Change, Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction,? says the department?s website. In June 2007, the State Council set up the National Leading Group Dealing with Climate Change, Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction. The group currently is composed of 20 ministries or research agencies. NDRC is the coordinator for the group?s agenda. Members of the National Leading Group Dealing with Climate Change State Council 1 Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2 National Development and Reform Commission 3 Ministry of Science and Technology 4 Ministry of Industry and Information Technology 5 Ministry of Finance 6 Ministry of Land and Resources 7 Ministry of Environmental Protection 8 Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development 9 Ministry of Transport 10 Ministry of Water Resources 11 Ministry of Agriculture 12 Ministry of Commerce 13 Ministry of Health 14 National Bureau of Statistics 15 State Forestry Administration 16 China Academy of Sciences 17 China Meteorological Administration 18 National Energy Administration 19 Civil Aviation Administration of China 20 State Oceanic Administration General Information: Begin Unofficial Translation: China?s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change Information Office of the State Council Of the People?s Republic of China October 2008, Beijing Contents Foreword ?. Climate Change and China?s National Circumstances ?. Impacts of Climate Change on China ?. Strategies and Objectives for Addressing Climate Change ?. Policies and Actions to Mitigate Climate Change ?. Policies and Actions to Adapt to Climate Change ?. Enhancing Public Awareness of Climate Change ?. Enhancing International Cooperation on Climate Change ?. Institution and Mechanism Building Conclusion Foreword Global climate change and its adverse effects are a common concern of mankind. Ever since the industrial revolution, human activities, especially the massive consumption of energy and resources by developed countries in their process of industrialization, have increased the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, caused a significant change of global climate mainly manifested as global warming over past 50 years, resulted in discernible impacts on the natural ecological systems of the Earth, and posed severe challenges to the survival and development of human society. As a developing country with a large population, a relatively low level of economic development, a complex climate and a fragile ecological environment, China is vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, which has posed substantial threats to the natural ecological systems as well as the economic and social development of the country. These threats are particularly pressing in the fields of agriculture and animal husbandry, forestry, natural ecological systems and water resources, and in coastal and ecological fragile zones. Therefore, adaptation is an urgent task for China. In the phase of rapid economic development, and with multiple pressures of developing the economy, eliminating poverty and mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases, China is confronted with difficulties in its efforts to address climate change. As a responsible developing country, China attaches great importance to climate change issues. Fully aware of the importance and urgency of addressing climate change, following the requirements of the Scientific Outlook on Development, and taking into overall consideration of both economic development and ecological construction, domestic situation and international situations, and the present and the future, China has formulated and implemented its national climate change program, and adopted a series of policies and measures in this regard. China addresses climate change in the context of implementing sustainable development strategy, combined with its accelerated steps to build a resource-conserving and environmental-friendly society and an innovation-oriented country. Taking economic development as the core objective, and placing emphasis on energy conservation, optimization of the energy mix, reinforcement of protection and restoration of ecological system, supported by advancement of science and technology, China strives to control greenhouse gas emissions and continuously enhance its adaptation capability. China is actively engaged in international efforts to address climate change and committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (hereinafter referred to as the UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, playing a constructive role in international cooperation. I. Climate Change and China's National Circumstances The latest scientific research findings show that the global average surface temperature has increased by 0.74? over the past century (1906-2005), and is expected to rise by 1.1-6.4? by the end of the 21st century. The increase of global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the increase of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (mainly CO2, CH4 and N2O) resulting from human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels and land use and land- use change. China's temperature rise has basically kept pace with global warming. The latest observed record released by the China Meteorological Administration shows that the average surface temperature in China has increased by 1.1? over the last 100 years (1908-2007), and that China experienced 21 warm winters from 1986 to 2007, with 2007 being the warmest year since the beginning of systematic meteorological observations in 1951. The nationwide distribution of precipitation in the past 50 years has undergone marked changes, with increases in western and southern China and decreases in most parts of northern and northeastern China. Extreme climate events, such as hot extremes, heavy precipitation and severe droughts, have increased in frequency and intensity. The frequency of heat waves in summer has increased and droughts have worsened in some areas, especially in northern China; heavy precipitation has increased in southern China; and snow disasters have became more frequent in western China. In China's coastal zones, the sea surface temperature has increased by 0.9? and sea-level risen by 90 mm over the past 30 years. Scientific research projects that the trend of climate warming in China would further intensify; frequency of extreme climate events is likely to increase; uneven distribution of precipitation would be more visible than before and the frequency of heavy precipitation would increase; the arid land would expand in scope; and the sea-level would rise faster than ever. The national circumstances and conditions pose great challenges for China to address climate change. ? A complex climate and a fragile ecological environment determine that China's task of adapting itself to climate change is arduous. China is characterized by a continental monsoon climate, and most parts of China have a wider range of seasonal temperature variation compared with other continental areas at the same latitude. Many areas in China are cold in winter and hot in summer, and high temperatures generally prevail in the country at large in summer. The spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation is uneven. Most precipitation occurs in the flood season. Annual precipitation declines from the southeast coast to the northwest interior. China has a fragile ecological environment, with serious soil erosion and desertification and a forest coverage of 18.21 percent, only 62 percent of the world's average. The area of natural wetlands is comparatively small; most grasslands are of alpine and desert type, and the temperate grasslands in northern China are in danger of degradation and desertification due to the impacts of drought and deterioration of the ecological environment. With a coastline over 18,000 km, China is vulnerable to the adverse effects of sea-level rise. ? With a large population and a relatively low level of development, China's development task is a formidable one. The population of China?s mainland reached 1.321 billion at the end of 2007, accounting for 20 percent of the world's total. China has a comparatively low level of urbanization, with an urbanization ratio of 44.9 percent in 2007, lower than the world's average. The large population also brings huge employment pressure. The government needs to create over 10 million jobs for new urban labor force entrants every year; as the urbanization process moves forward, tens of millions of rural laborers move to the urban areas every year. Statistics from the International Monetary Fund show that the per-capita GDP (gross domestic product) of China in 2007 was US$2,461, ranking 106th among 181 countries and regions, still a low-to-middle income country. China is characterized by unbalanced regional economic development and is still nagged by a large income gap between urban and rural residents. The country is still troubled by poverty, with an impoverished rural population of 14.79 million inadequately fed and clad. There are still 30 million people who can only afford basic food and clothing with a low and unstable income. Moreover, China has a relatively low level of science and technology and weak capacity of independent innovation. Developing the economy and improving people's lives are imperative tasks currently facing China. ? China's ongoing industrialization process and its coal-dominated energy mix determine that its task of controlling greenhouse gas emissions is a tough one. China's historical greenhouse gas emissions are very low. According to data from relevant international institutions, from 1904 to 2004, cumulative CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in China made up only eight percent of the world's total over the same period, and cumulative emissions per capita ranked 92nd in the world. China's CO2 emissions from energy consumption in 2004 totaled 5.07 billion tons. As a developing country, China still has a long way to go in its industrialization, urbanization and modernization. To advance further toward its development objectives, China will strive for rational growth of energy demand, which is the basic condition for the development for all developing countries. However, its coal-dominated energy mix cannot be substantially changed in the near future, thus making the task of controlling greenhouse gas emissions greater and more difficult. II. Impacts of Climate Change on China China is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, mainly in the fields of agriculture and livestock industry, forestry, natural ecological systems, water resources, and coastal zones. Impact on Agriculture and Livestock Industries Climate change has already had discernible adverse impacts on China's agriculture and livestock industries manifested by increased instability in agricultural production, severe damage to crops and livestock production caused by drought and hot extremes and heat waves in some parts of the country, aggravated spring freeze injury to early-budding crops due to climate warming, decline in the yield and quality of grasslands, and augmented losses caused by meteorological disasters. The impacts of future climate change on agriculture and the livestock industry will still be mainly adverse. It is likely there will be a drop in the yield of the three major crops ? wheat, rice, and corn; changes in the agricultural production layout and structure; accelerated decomposition of organic carbon in the soil; enlarged scope of crop diseases and insect outbreaks; accelerated potential desertification trend of grasslands; increasing frequency of natural fire; decreasing livestock productivity and reproductive ability; and growing risk of livestock disease outbreak. Impact on Forestry and Other Natural Ecological Systems The impact of climate change on China's forestry and other natural ecological systems are mainly manifested in the following aspects: the northward shift of the northern boundaries of eastern subtropical and temperate zones and earlier arrival of spring phenophase; upward shift of the lower boundaries of forest belts in some areas; increased elevation of floor level of permafrost in mountain area and decreased area of permafrost; rising frequency of animal and plant diseases and insect outbreak with marked variation in regional distribution; reduced area and overall shrinking trend of glaciers in northwestern China; and threat to the oasis ecological system posed by accelerated melting of glaciers and snow cover. Future climate change will further increase the vulnerability of ecological systems, diminish the geographical distribution areas of main tree species for forestation and rare tree species, enlarge the outbreak scope of forest diseases and insect, and increase the frequency of forest fires and burnt- over areas, shrink inland lakes and cause the decrease and functional degradation of wetland resources, speed up the reduction of the area of glaciers and permafrost, and significantly alter the spatial distribution pattern of permanent permafrost of highland ecological system on the Qinghai- Tibet Plateau, and damage bio-diversity. Impact on Water Resources Climate change has already caused changes in the distribution of water resources all over China. Over the past two decades, the gross amount of water resources of the Yellow, Huaihe, Haihe and Liaohe rivers in northern China has been significantly reduced, whilst that of rivers in southern China has slightly increased. Floods happen more frequently, droughts get worse. It is projected that future climate change would have great impacts on the temporal and spatial distribution of water resources in the following ways: augmenting annual and inter-annual changes and increasing the frequency of flooding and drought and other extreme natural disasters. In particular, accelerated melting of glaciers in western China due to climate warming will further reduce the area of glaciers and glacier ice reserves, thus having significant impacts on rivers and run-offs with sources in glacier melt water. Climate warming would possibly reinforce the drought trend in northern China, and intensify water scarcity and imbalance between water supply and demand. Impact on Coastal Zones The last 30 years have witnessed in China an accelerating trend of sea-level rise, which has caused seawater intrusion, soil salinization and coastal erosion, damaged the typical ecological systems of coastal wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs, and diminished the service functions and bio-diversity of ecological system in coastal area. Sea temperature rise and ocean acidification resulting from climate change have given rise to oxygen-impoverished zones in part of maritime areas, the degradation of marine fishery and rare and endangered species resources. It is predicted that the sea-level in the coastal zones of China will continue to rise. Sea-level rise will undermine the capacity of public drainage facilities in coastal cities, and impair the functions of harbors. Impact on Society, Economy, and Other Fields Climate change will also produce far-reaching impacts on society, the economy, and other fields, and cause huge losses to the national economy. Corresponding economic and social costs will have to be paid for addressing climate change. In addition, there will be increased chances of disease occurrence and spread, endangering human health, rising possibilities of geological and meteorological disasters and consequent threats to the security of major projects. The ecological environment and bio-diversity of nature reserves and national parks will be affected, accompanied by adverse impacts on natural and cultural tourism resources, and augmented threats to the safety of life and property, and to the normal order and stability of social life. III. Strategies and Objectives for Addressing Climate Change To address climate change, China adheres to the following guidelines: to give full effect to the Scientific Outlook on Development, adhere to the fundamental national policy of resources conservation and environmental protection, control greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the country's capacity for sustainable development, take economic development as the core objective, place emphasis on energy conservation, optimization of the energy mix, reinforcement of protection and restoration of ecological system, rely on advancement of science and technology, enhance international cooperation, constantly enhance the capability in coping with climate change, and make further contribution to the protection of global climate. To address climate change, China will employ the following principles: ? To address climate change in the context of sustainable development. Climate change arises out of development, and should thus be solved along with development. Addressing climate change should promote sustainable development so as to achieve a win-win outcome of pursuing economic development and addressing climate change. ? The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities." This is the core principle of the UNFCCC. Both developed and developing countries are obliged to adopt measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Due to the difference in historical responsibility, level and stage of development, capabilities and ways of contribution, developed countries should be responsible for their historical accumulated emissions and current high per-capita emissions, and take the lead in reducing emissions, in addition to providing financial support and transferring technologies to developing countries. The developing countries, while pursuing economic development and poverty eradication, should actively adopt adaptation and mitigation measures, control greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the common efforts of addressing climate change. ? To place equal emphasis on both mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation and adaptation are integral components of the strategy for coping with climate change. Mitigation is a long and arduous challenge, while adaptation is a more present and imminent task. The latter is of particular importance to developing countries. The two must be treated with equal importance in a coordinated and balanced way. ? The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol are the main channel for addressing climate change. These two documents lay out the legal foundation for international cooperation in dealing with climate change, and reflect the common understanding of the international community. They are the most authoritative, universal and comprehensive international framework for coping with climate change. Their status as the kernel mechanism and leading channel should be unswervingly stick up. Other types of bilateral and multilateral cooperation should be supplementary. ? To rely on the advancement, innovation of science and technology and technology transfer. Addressing climate change relies on technology. The technology innovation and transfer are the basis and support for addressing climate change. While promoting their own technological development and deployment, developed countries are obligated to promote international technological cooperation and transfer, and effectively fulfill their commitments to provide financial and technological support to developing countries, so that the latter can have access to and afford clima?te friendly technologies to enhance their capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change. To rely on public participation and extensive international cooperation. Dealing with climate change requires changes in the traditional ways of production and consumption, and the participation of the whole society. China is working to build a resources-conserving and environmental-friendly society, foster a social atmosphere in which the enterprises and the public participate on a voluntary basis under the guidance of the government, and raise enterprises' awareness of social responsibility and the public's awareness of global environment protection. As a challenge faced by the entire world, climate change can only be solved through international co- operation and concerted efforts. China will, as always, actively promote and participate in all modes of international cooperation that are conducive to tackling climate change. China?s National Climate Change Program released in June 2007, set the general objectives of addressing climate change up to 2010: significant results should be achieved in controlling greenhouse gas emissions, the capability of adaptation to climate change should be relentlessly enhanced, climate-change-related research should be promoted to make new progress. In addition, the public awareness of climate change should be enhanced, and the institutions and mechanisms for dealing with climate change should be further strengthened. Control of Greenhouse Gas Emissions ? Accelerating the transformation of economic development pattern, strengthening policy guidance concerning energy conservation and efficient utilization, intensifying administration of energy conservation in accordance with the law, speeding up R&D, demonstration and deployment of energy conservation technologies, giving full play to the role of new market-based mechanisms for energy conservation, enhancing public and social awareness on energy conservation, accelerating the building-up of a resource-conserving society, and controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Through these measures, the energy consumption per-unit GDP is expected to drop by about 20 percent by 2010 compared to that of 2005, and CO2 emissions will consequently be reduced. ? Optimizing the energy consumption structure through vigorously developing renewable energy, boosting nuclear power plant construction and speeding up the development and utilization of coal-bed methane. The target by 2010 is to raise the proportion of renewable energy (including large-scale hydropower) in the primary energy consumption up to 10 percent, and the extraction of coal-bed mine methane up to 10 billion m3. ? Controlling greenhouse gas emissions generated by industrial process through reinforcing industrial policies concerning the metallurgy, building materials and chemical industry, developing recycling economy, raising resources utilization efficiency and strengthening emissions control of N2O. By 2010, the emissions of N2O from industrial process will remain stable as that in 2005. ? Striving to control CH4 emissions by continuously promoting low-emission and high-yield rice varieties, interminent irrigation and expanding testing soil and balanced fertilization technology, and strengthening R&D on quality ruminant animal breeds and intensive animal production system, strengthening animal manures treatment and expanding the development and utilization of biogas digesters. ? Striving to increase forest coverage to 20percent and realize an increase of annual carbon sinks by 50 million tCO2 over the level of 2005 by 2010 through continuing key projects on afforestation, conversion of cropland on steep slope into forest and grassland, and natural forest protection, and improvement of basic farmland, and other relevant policies. Enhancing the Capacity of Adaptation to Climate Change ? Through improving the multi-disaster monitoring and early warning systems, the inter- ministerial policy-making and coordination mechanisms, the action mechanism with extensive public participation, the capability of monitoring and forecasting extreme meteorological disasters will be strengthened. By 2010, a number of meteorological disaster prevention projects will be completed and perform a fundamental, overall and vital role in the economy and society, so as to enhance the comprehensive capacity to monitor, warn about and cope with meteorological disasters, and reduce the damage from them. ? Through strengthening farmland infrastructure, adjusting cropping systems, selecting and breeding stress-resistant varieties, developing bio-technologies and other adaptation measures, by 2010 improved grassland will be increased by 24 million hectares, 52 million hectares of grassland suffering from degradation, desertification and salinity will be restored, and the efficiency of irrigation water will be raised to 0.5. ? Through strengthening natural forest conservation and nature reserve management, continuing key ecological restoration projects, establishing important ecological protection area, and stepping up natural ecological restoration, by 2010, 90 percent of typical forest ecological systems and national key wildlife species will be under effective protection; nature reserve area will account for 16 percent of the national territory; 25 million hectares of land suffering from soil erosion will have been improved; 30 million hectares of land will have been ecologically restored; and 22 million hectares of desertified land will have been put under control. ? Through rational exploitation and optimized allocation of water resources, building-up of new mechanism for infrastructure construction, strengthening measures for water conservation and monitoring of hydrology, by 2010 the vulnerability of China's water resources to climate change will have been alleviated; concrete progress will have been made to build a water-conserving society; an anti-flood engineering system in large rivers will be in place; and the standard for drought relief in farmland will have been raised. ? Through scientific monitoring the trend of sea-level variation, regulating marine and coastal ecological systems, rationally exploiting the coast, protecting coastal wetlands and planting coastal shelterbelts, China aims to protect and restore the mangroves, and promote the capability to resist marine disasters in coastal zones by 2010. Strengthening R&D ? Through strengthening basic research on climate change, further developing and improving research and analytical methods, and intensifying the training of professionals and decision-makers in relevant fields, China aims to keep up with international advanced level in some fields by 2010, so that it will have solid scientific ground for developing national strategies and policies on climate change, and scientific guidance for participation in international cooperation on climate change. ? Through building up its independent innovation capacity, and promoting international cooperation and technology transfer, China will work hard to achieve big breakthroughs in R&D on energy development, energy conservation and clean energy technology, to quicken the commercialization of advanced technologies; to enhance the technological capacity of agriculture, water conservancy and forestry sectors to adapt to climate change; and to provide strong scientific and technological support for efforts to address climate change by 2010. Enhancing Public Awareness and Improving Management ? Through more publicity, education and training based on modern information dissemination technologies to encourage public participation, it is expected that by 2010 broad public awareness of the severity of climate change will be achieved, and a social environment conducive to addressing climate change will be in place. ? Through improvement of the inter-ministerial decision-making coordination mechanism and development of an action mechanism in response to climate change involving a wide range of enterprise and public participation, a suitable and highly-efficient institutional and management framework to address climate change will be gradually established. IV. Policies and Actions to Mitigate Climate Change China has adopted proactive policies and taken active actions to mitigate climate change, including a number of policies and measures to adjust the economic structure, change the development patterns, save energy and improve energy efficiency, optimize energy mix and promote afforestation. Remarkable achievements have been made so far. Adjusting the Economic Structure to Promote the Optimization and Upgrade of the Industrial Structure The Chinese government attaches great importance to the adjustment of the economic structure and the transformation of the economic development patterns, and has formulated and implemented a series of industrial policies and special programs to integrate resources and energy conservation into its industrial policies. By promoting the optimizing and upgrading China's industrial structure, it aims to form a pattern of economic growth featuring "less input, less consumption, less emission and higher efficiency." ? Accelerating the development of the service industry. The government issued Opinions on Accelerating of the Development of the Service Industry in 2007, in which it sets the goal of raising the proportion of added value from the service industry in the GDP by three percentage points from 2005 to 2010. It has also made clear policies that provide support to key areas, weak links and new fields of the service industry. As a result, modern services such as tourism, finance and logistics are booming. ? Expanding and strengthening high-tech industry. In 2007, the government issued the 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010) for industries like high-tech, e-commerce and information technology, indicating that the proportion of added value of high-tech industry in the total industrial added value be raised by five percentage points from 2005 to 2010. The government has formulated and implemented policies and measures conducive to the development of high-tech industries like digital television, software, integrated circuits and bioengineering. It has quickened the fostering of newly emerging industries that conform to the requirements of saving energy and reducing emissions. High-tech industries, including information technology, bioengineering, aeronautics, space shuttle, new energy, new materials and marine industries are developing rapidly. The revitalization of high-tech manufacturing industry has been effective, and construction of infrastructure and basic industries has made great progress. ? Accelerating the pace of phasing out of backward production capacity. In 2007, the government announced a timetable for different areas to phase out of their backward production facilities in 13 industries during the latest Five-year Plan period. Last year saw the shutdown of 14.38 GW installed capacity of small thermal power generation units, and the elimination of 46.59 million tons of iron-smelting obsolete capacity, 37.47 million tons of steelmaking capacity and 52 million tons of cement production capacity. More than 2,000 heavily polluting papermaking plants, chemical plants, and printing and dyeing mills were ordered to close down, as were 11,200 small coal ?mines. Limiting the excessively rapid expansion of high energy intensive and emission intensive industries. Relevant policies have been promulgated to control new projects. Standards of market entry for high energy intensive industries have been promulgated. By raising the entry standard of energy-saving and environment protection and by adjusting tax rebates for exports and customs duties, the government is working to restrain the export of high energy-intensive, pollution-intensive and resource-intensive products. The expansion of high energy intensive industries is being slowed. Striving to Save Energy and Improve Energy Efficiency The Chinese government attaches great importance to energy conservation, and has made it a fundamental national policy. For a long time it has pursued a policy of putting equal emphasis on both development and energy conservation with priority being given to conservation. The Outline of the 11th Five-year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2006-2010) considers it a major strategic task for China to build an energy-conserving and environmental-friendly society. It stipulates that the energy consumption per-unit GDP in 2010 should be 20 percent lower than that in 2005, and that this goal is binding. ? Placing energy conservation and emission reduction in a more prominent position. The State Council has set up a leading group on energy conservation and emission reduction, and issued the Comprehensive Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction to guide work in this field. ?Establishing a responsibility system with goals for energy conservation and emission reduction. The State Council has issued the Plan and Method Regarding the Monitoring of Energy Conservation, Emission Reduction and Evaluation, stating clearly that leading cadres in all provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) and key enterprises will be appraised by their performance in achieving the goals for energy conservation and reduction of emission of major pollutants. Those who fail in this task will be held responsible. ? Accelerating the construction of major energy conservation projects. In 2006, the country supported 111 key energy-conservation projects by using funds raised from issuing treasury bonds and investment within the central budget, resulting in an energy-conservation capacity of 10.1 million tons of coal equivalent (tce). In 2007, the country supported 681 key energy-conservation projects by using funds raised from issuing treasury bonds, investment within the central budget and central treasury capital, resulting in an energy-conservation capacity of 25.5 million tce. Technological transformation conducted by enterprises under the direction of local governments resulted in an energy-conservation capacity of 60 million tce. It is expected that an energy- conservation capacity of 240 million tce will be created after ten key energy-conservation projects are implemented from 2006 to 2010. With subsidies from the government, 50 million energy saving lamps are now being distributed to households all over the country, and within the coming three years more than 150 million energy saving lamps will be distributed. ? Promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in key fields. An energy-conserving campaign has been launched among more than 1,000 enterprises to encourage them to conduct energy auditing, formulate energy-saving plans, and make public their energy use situation. A campaign has also been launched in major energy intensive enterprises to check their compliance with the energy efficiency indicators. The government is earnestly promoting "green" and environmental-friendly buildings that save energy and land. New buildings must meet the compulsory energy-saving standards. Energy-saving renovations to existing buildings are carried out, and the task has been assigned to different regions to install measured heating equipment and complete energy-saving renovation to a total of 150 million m2 of floor space. Pilot work has been launched to set up a monitoring system on energy conservation in office buildings of government agencies and large public buildings in 24 provinces and cities. The government will continue to improve the fuel consumption limitation standard for motor vehicles, and enforce the standard strictly. Government agencies at the central level have checked and retrofitted their air-conditioning, lighting and boiler systems for energy-conservation purposes. They have also installed energy saving lighting in all their office buildings. ? Improving the efficiency of energy development and transformation. More high-efficiency, energy-conservation equipments are used in the power-generation and coal-producing sectors, and the government has quickened its pace to phase out small thermal power stations and coal mines. In 2007, the coal consumption of power generation with capacity 6MW or above dropped from 448 gce/kWh in 1980 to 370 gce/kWh. Energy and electricity consumption per unit production of raw coal in 2007 dropped by 5.9 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, as compared with the previous year. ? Implementing economic policies conducive to energy conservation. The resources tax for some mineral products has been readjusted, and prices for refined oil and natural gas have also been readjusted in a timely fashion. Policies aimed at energy saving power dispatch have been adopted. The tariff for electricity generation by small thermal power plants has been lowered, and electricity price differentials have been adopted more broadly. Regulations have been promulgated regarding capital management that supports enterprises in making energy-saving technological transformation, popularizing high-efficiency lighting products, installing monitored heating systems in buildings and making energy-conservation renovations. Policies have also been introduced to encourage the production and use of energy-saving and environment-friendly compact vehicles and to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags. A compulsory government energy-saving products procurement system has been put into place. ? Strengthening the construction of the legal system. The Energy Conservation Law has been amended. The General Office of the State Council has issued the Circular on Strictly Following the Temperature Control Standards for Air-conditioners in Public Buildings. Since 2007, national compulsory standards have been promulgated to restrict energy consumption for the 22 energy intensive products (including thermal power and caustic soda). Supervision and spot checks are now conducted on 16 categories of end-use equipments, including electric motors and energy-saving lamps. Government departments in charge of energy conservation and supervision enforce the energy-conservation administrative regulations in accordance with the law. Thanks to all these efforts, energy consumption per unit GDP in 2006 and 2007 in China was lowered by 1.79percent and 3.66percent, respectively. In 2007, key enterprises in the electric power, iron and steel, building materials and chemical industries which consume 10,000 tce or more annually saw energy consumption dropping of 33 of their 35 major products, with only two rising. The energy thus saved was equivalent to 38.3 million tce. The energy saved in 2006 and 2007 by these enterprises equaled 147 million tce. Developing Renewable Energy and Optimizing Energy Mix The Renewable Energy Law was enacted in 2005 to give the obligation for grid companies to purchase all the electricity generated from renewable energies; renewable electricity has a privilege to be fed into the grid with a favorable price; and the incremental feed-in tariff of renewable electricity to the grid is shared by all the society. A dedicated fund was established for developing renewable energy to support the evaluation and investigation of renewable energy resources, related technological research and development, construction of pilot and demonstration projects, and the development and utilization of renewable energy in the countryside. By the end of 2007, the total installed capacity of hydropower in China was 145 GW, and the corresponding annual power generation was 482.9 TWh, ranking first in the world in both installed capacity and power generation. An average of 26 GW of installed capacity was added in 2006 and 2007, with an average increase of 12percent each year. The scale of wind power increased several-fold. Currently, with installed capacity of more than 6 GW, China ranks fifth in the world. In 2006 and 2007, some 3.05 GW was added, an average annual increase of 148percent. Heat collecting area of existing solar water heaters has reached 110 million m2, keeping China the world leader in this field for many years. The installed capacity of biomass power generation is 3 GW, and the annual production capacity of ethanol fuel is more than 1.2 million tons. The installed capacity of nuclear power is 9.06 GW, an increase of 30.5percent over 2006. The share of coal in the primary energy consumption dropped from 72.2percent in 1980 to 69.4percent in 2007. The share of hydropower, wind power and nuclear power combined was raised from 4percent to 7.2percent in the same period. The total utilization of renewable energy equals to approximately 220 million tce (including large hydropower). According to the Mid- and Long-term Plan for the Development of Renewable Energy and Mid- and Long-term Plan for the Development of Nuclear Power, China will continue to promote the comprehensive hydropower cascading development of river basin. It will quicken the pace of constructing large hydropower stations on the precondition of environmental protection and proper migrants relocation. Medium and small scale hydropower stations will also be developed where local conditions permit. China is determined to accelerate the development of wind power, to achieve industrialization by scaling up exploitation. It will raise its capacity for R&D and manufacturing wind-power equipment and make every effort to construct several wind-power farms at scale of GW and wind-power bases at scale of 10 GW. China will vigorously promote biomass energy development and utilization by attaching significant importance to bio-energy based power generation, biogas, biomass briquette and biofuel. China will actively develop solar power and solar heating while strengthening the research, development and utilization of new energy and alternative energy. It will make better use of coal-bed methane and coal-mine methane, and develop small scale distributed power fueled by coal-bed methane. China enthusiastically develops nuclear power. It is working hard to reform the nuclear power system and spur mechanism innovation in an attempt to establish a market-oriented nuclear power development mechanism. It will strengthen its capacity for R&D and manufacturing nuclear power equipment, and raise its ability to absorb imported technology and make innovations on this basis. It will strengthen the related technical services system for nuclear power operation, as well as the training of professionals. It will implement preferential policies on taxation and investment that will promote the development of nuclear power, improve nuclear power safety system and quicken the enactment of laws and regulations in this field. Finally, China will push forward clean coal utilization and develop efficient and clean power generating technology, such as large-scale combined cycle units and poly-generation, and promote R&D on the technology for carbon capture and storage. Developing Recycling Economy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attaching great importance to developing recycling economy, the Chinese government is doing its best to resources reduction, reuse and recycle of waste so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their sources and in the process of production. In recent years, recycling economy is turning from an idea to action, and developing rapidly across the country. The country has enacted laws and regulations such as the Clean Production Promotion Law, Law on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes, Law on a Recycling Economy and Methods for the Management of Municipal Domestic Waste. It has promulgated the Several Opinions on Accelerating the Development of recycling Economy, setting forth the general strategy, short-term goals, basic means, and policies and measures for the development of recycling economy. It has also promulgated an evaluation index system for recycling economy. In addition, the Regulations Regarding the Management of the Recycling and Treatment of Discarded Electrical Equipment is to be promulgated soon. Two batches of demonstration pilot projects have been carried out, primarily for exploring recycling economy development model at three levels, i.e., enterprises, inter-enterprises or industrial parks, and society in general. Pilot projects featuring recycling and disposal of waste and used household electrical appliances and remanufacturing of automobile parts have made satisfactory progress. Preferential policies concerning taxation on the comprehensive utilization of disposables and the recycling and utilization of reusable resource have been improved. More support is being given to key projects in the recycling economy by treasury bonds and investment within the central budget. Through introduction, digestion, absorption of advanced technologies, and independent innovation, some advanced technologies with proprietary intellectual property rights have emerged, in particular, a group of key technologies which play a leading role in respective sectors have been developed, demonstrated and disseminated. Applicable technologies, such as low-temperature waste heat power generation, coke dry-quenching, top pressure recovery turbine (TRT), clinker production using calcium carbide slag in the dry process, and disposal of waste in blast furnaces and rotary kilns, are now widely used. In 2005, nearly one third of the raw materials for China's steel, nonferrous metals and pulp industries came from reused resources, while 20percent of the raw materials for cement and 40percent of the raw materials for walls came from industrial solid waste. Marked progress has been made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the production of semiconductors, including sealing and packaging. The level of greenhouse gas emissions during the making of electronic information products remains low. The country has formulated incentive policy for the recovery and utilization of landfill gas, and has promulgated industrial standards such as the Policies on Technologies for the Treatment of Urban Garbage and Pollution Prevention, and Technical Norms on Sanitary Landfill of Domestic Wastes, which promote the recovery and utilization of landfill gas and reduction of emissions of CH4 and other green-house gases. Meanwhile, China is promoting advanced technologies for waste incineration, recovery and utilization of landfill gas. Relevant technological standards are being promulgated, and the wastes collection and transportation system is being improved. Municipal wastes classification has begun in some areas; comprehensive utilization of wastes as a resource has been raised to promote the industrialization of the waste disposal. Supervision is being tightened on enterprises engaged in waste disposal. As a result, the detoxification rate of waste was raised from 2.3percent in 1990 to 52percent in 2006. Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture and the Rural Area China has witnessed great progress in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture and the rural area in recent years. In 1,200 counties across the country, testing soil and balanced fertilizations are applied. Guidance is given to farmers for the precise utilization of fertilizers and to reduce N2O emissions from farmland. Conservation tillage is being popularized. Soil organic carbon is increased by feeding animals with straw and applying manure to the cropland. Grassland degradation is avoided by establishment of compensatory mechanism for grassland ecology, avoidance of over grazing, prohibition and rotation of grazing. Meanwhile, renewable energy technologies are being vigorously developed in rural area, such as the construction of biogas digester, installation of solar energy and firewood saving stoves. By the end of 2007, there were over 26.5 million rural households using household biogas digesters in China, saving 16 million tce annually, equal to 44 million tons of CO2 emission reduction. China has constructed 26,600 biogas digesters in animal farms, and installed 42.86 million m2 of solar water heaters in the rural area, 14.68 million m2 of solar-heating houses, 1.12 million solar stoves and more than 200,000 small wind power generators. China has established some demonstration projects for the gasification and solidification of straws. It has installed firewood and coal saving stoves in 151 million households and energy-saving stoves in 34.71 million households. Promoting Tree-planting and Afforestation Campaign and Increasing the Capability of Carbon Sequestration In the past 20 years, four million hectares of trees have been planted annually on average with the continuously increasing investment from the central government. Meanwhile, the country also encourages citizens at the right age to take part in tree planting. By the end of 2007, 10.98 billion person-time in total had joined voluntarily and planted 51.54 billion trees all over China. In recent years, through the measures like collective forest property reform, farmers' enthusiasm for tree planting and forest protection has been aroused. At present, China has 54 million hectares of man- made forest, its stock volume reaching 1.505 billion m3, with the country's forest coverage increased from 12 percent in the early 1980s to 18.21 percent now. In 2006, total area of green belt and park in urban area in China reached 1.32 million hectares with a 35.1percent green coverage. It is estimated that from 1980 to 2005, a total accumulated net sequestration of 3.06 billion tCO2 was achieved by afforestation, and 1.62 billion tCO2 by forest management respectively, and 430 million tCO2 from deforestation were avoided. All this has further enhanced the capability of forest as the sinks of greenhouse gas. Intensifying R&D Efforts to Respond to Climate Change ? Including response to climate change in the plan for scientific development. The Outline of China's Mid- and Long-term Development Plan for Science and Technology issued in 2006 made energy and environment priority fields in the development of science and technology. It listed the monitoring and countermeasures of global environment change as priority themes in the field of environment. China's Science and Technology Program on Climate Change enacted in 2007 set forth phased goals for scientific work as a response to climate change during the 11th Five-year Plan period (2006-2010) and long-term goals up to the year 2020. The following areas were identified as priorities: the science of climate change, R&D of greenhouse gas control technologies, adaptation technologies and measures, and major strategies and policies to cope with climate change. ? Strengthening the cultivation of professionals and research bases. Thanks to efforts made over the past 20 years or so, a contingent of specialists has been formed in the field of climate change who are doing basic and applied researches across fields and disciplines. They have made pioneering research achievements, providing important scientific and technical support for China to cope with climate change. A number of national-level scientific research bases have been established, and a large observation network system, including the National Climate Monitoring Network, has basically been set up. China has strengthened research, development and demonstration of advanced technologies dealing with climate change. The integration of research, academia and industry has accelerated the commercialization process of advanced technologies. ? Continuously increasing the financial support to climate change related scientific and technological work. While sources of funds from the government remain relatively stable, efforts are being made to raise money from other sources, attracting funds from society at large for scientific and technological research and development concerning climate change. During the 10th Five-year Plan period (2001-2005), the government invested more than 2.5 billion yuan in scientific and technological research on climate change through national science and technology programs such as the National Key Technologies R&D Program, National High-Tech R&D Program(863 program), and National Basic Research Program (973 program). By the end of 2007 from the national science and technology programs for the 11th Five-year Plan period (2006-2010), more than 7 billion yuan had been appropriated for R&D on energy conservation and emission reduction. In addition, the country, through other channels, has invested large amounts of funds for R&D on climate change. ? Key areas of R&D. China has decided to place the emphasis of its research on technologies that can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, which include energy saving and energy efficiency technologies; renewable energy and new energy technologies; emission control and utilization technologies for CO2, CH4 and other greenhouse gas emissions in key sectors; biological and engineering carbon sequestration technologies; technologies for the clean and efficient exploitation and utilization of coal, petroleum and natural gas; technologies for manufacturing advanced equipment for coal-fired power and nuclear-power; technologies for CO2 capture, utilization and storage; and greenhouse gas emissions control technologies in agriculture and land use. V. Policies and Actions to Adapt to Climate Change China actively applies policies and takes actions to adapt to climate change in agriculture, forest and other natural ecological systems, water resources, as well as ecologically fragile areas like coastal zones and regions, and has achieved positive effects. Agriculture The country has made great efforts to establish and improve a law regime for agriculture related to adapt to climate change, including the Agriculture Law, Grassland Law, Fisheries Law, Land Administration Law, Regulations of Emergency Response to Major Animal Epidemics, Regulations on Grassland Fire Prevention and so on. The country has reinforced the construction of agricultural infrastructure, carried out the construction of farmland irrigation and drainage facilities, enlarged irrigation areas, improved irrigation efficiency and farm-land overall drainage capability, promoted dry-land farming and water-saving technologies, and strengthened capability of integrated production and disaster prevention, resistance and reduction. Through the "Seed Project," China is cultivating stress-resistant varieties of seeds with high yield potential, high quality and specific abilities of resistance to drought, water logging, high temperature, diseases and pests. China will further strengthen the promotion of quality crop seeds to increase their planting area; enhance the prevention and control of major animal epidemic diseases, establish and improve the animal disease prevention system, improve the monitoring and early-warning system and enhance capability in this regard, protect and improve the grassland ecological system through returning grazing area to grassland and constructing enclosures, artificial grasslands and grassland fire- prevention, and launch activities for aquatic species conservation and protect aquatic species resources and the aquatic ecological environment. Forest and Other Natural Ecological Systems For years, China has made great efforts to protect forest and other natural ecological systems by formulating and enforcing relevant laws and regulations, such as the Forest Law, Law on the Protection of Wildlife, Law on Water and Soil Conservation, Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, Regulations on Conversion of Farmland to Forest, Forest Fire Prevention Regulations, and Regulations on Forest Diseases and Insect Pest Prevention and Control. The country is now working hard to draw up laws and regulations on the protection of nature reserves, wetlands and natural forests, and pushing forward the comprehensive implementation of a national program on ecological environment development and protection. China will further strengthen the protection and management of forest land, forests and wildlife resources, and continue to promote the protection of natural forests, conversion of cropland on steep slope to forest and grassland, wildlife nature reserve and wetland protection, so as to push forward the sustainable development and management of forests, and intensify efforts in ecological water and soil conservation. The government has established and continued to improve a comprehensive monitoring system for forest resources and ecological system; improved and enhanced a forest fire, pest and disease evaluating system and an emergency-response system, as well as the training of professionals in this field; carried out a nationwide medium- and long-term program for the prevention of forest fires, pests and diseases; improved, restored and enlarged the species population and their habitats, and enhanced the protection of endangered species and their habitat ecological systems; and restored the functions of ecological fragile areas and ecological systems. Water Resources China has formulated and enforced laws and regulations in this regard, including the Water Law, Flood Control Law, and Regulations on River Administration. It has formulated the program of flood control on major rivers and other water-conservancy programs, and has set up an elementary law regime and a program on water conservancy commensurate with China's circumstance, and established an elementary flood-control and disaster-alleviation system for major rivers and a water-resource allocation and protection system. Meanwhile, great efforts have been made to control soil and water erosion. By the end of 2007, China had made efforts to bring soil and water erosion under control over an area of one million square kilometer, thus effectively protected the soil and water resources and improved its ecological environment. China will accelerate the pace of formulating nationwide integrated plans for water resources and river basins, drawing up a water allocation plan for major rivers, speeding up the construction of the South-to-North Water-Diversion Project and other water-diversion projects, so as to optimize the water resource allocation pattern, and increase the water supply capability for drought emergencies. Efforts are being made to enhance unified water resources management and allocation, and establish national initial water rights allocation and transfer systems as well as a water resources conservation and protection system. The country will strengthen the construction of projects to control floods on major rivers as well as a system to control floods caused by mountain torrents, thus basically establishing a flood-control and disaster-alleviation system mainly formed by reservoirs, river channels, dikes and flood storage & discharge areas and a mountain flood-control system mainly operated by management measures. Further efforts are being made to improve the national commanding system in control and prevention of floods and droughts, and establish a flood-risk management system, so as to enhance the country's capability in controlling and resisting floods and droughts. In river basins with serious ecological deterioration, China will set restrictions on extraction of groundwater, strictly control overexploitation of groundwater and adopt active measures to rehabilitate and protect water resources. Research will be strengthened into the impact of climate change on China's water resources and into the mechanisms of water conversion between atmospheric water, surface water, soil water and groundwater as well as related technologies for optimizing water-resource allocation. China is also strengthening research, development and diffusion of technologies relating to wastewater reuse and seawater desalinization. Coastal Zones and Coastal Regions In accordance with the Marine Environment Protection Law, Law on the Administration of Sea Areas, General System Development Planning for the Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, China has worked out the objects and contents of a system to deal with climate change in marine areas, and established a decision-making mechanism and a coordination mechanism of comprehensive management, thereby striving to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Work is also done to increase the capability of coastal zones and coastal regions to adapt to climate change. China has carried out investigations and researches on ocean-atmosphere interaction, has deepen the understanding of ocean-atmosphere interaction, and has initially formed a three- dimensional observation system to the marine environment, thus improving its capability to control and prevent marine disasters. China will further improve its all-round capability to control and prevent marine disasters in coastal regions through establishing and further improving an eme
Posted: 24 December 2009