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Chinese cities can be model for low carbon

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Cancun, Mexico (UPI) Dec 7, 2010
The low carbon growth successes of some of China's largest and fastest-growing cities can serve as a model for other cities worldwide to reduce greenhouse gases, says a new report.

The report by the Climate Group outlines how China's city governments have developed low carbon strategies, including rolling out industrial and domestic energy efficiency measures, investing in low carbon transport projects and promoting urban renewable energy systems such as landfill gas capture and ground source heat pump systems. It was released on the sidelines of the climate conference in Cancun, Mexico.

"Low-carbon development has become a common concern in China, from top to bottom," said Yi Wang, deputy director general, Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a news release.

The Climate Group report comes as China's chief climate negotiator Su Wei said he remained confident that "positive results" could be delivered during the second week of the Cancun climate negotiations, now in progress.

The "China Clean Revolution Report III: Low Carbon Development in Cities" predicts that China's next five-year plan, due to be published early next year, will further accelerate the development of the country's city-wide sustainability strategies. The government plan is widely expected to include a target for reducing China's carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

"At the heart of the new national plan are China's cities. They are capable of unleashing a low carbon dragon that could power deep cuts in emissions around the world and create major international hubs for low carbon development," Steve Howard, chief executive officer of The Climate Group, said in a news release.

But the report also warns that China's massive rate of urbanization poses a challenge for the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term.

On the issue of climate change, China is trying to avoid the mistakes of developed countries, Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said Monday in Cancun.

"China faces many challenges including developing the economy, eliminating poverty, protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse emissions. We are learning from developed countries in facing climate change and trying to avoid their mistakes and lessons," Xie told a news conference, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

China, the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases, pledged during last year's Copenhagen, Denmark, conference on climate change to reduce the intensity of carbon emissions per unit of its gross domestic product by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.

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