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China's Policies on the Environment
Special> United Nations Climate Change Conference> China's Policies on the Environment
UPDATED: June 14, 2008 NO. 25 JUNE 19, 2008
China's National Climate Change Program

3.2 Principles

To address climate change, China will be guided by the following principles:

- To address climate change within the framework of sustainable development. It is not only the important common understanding of the international community, but also the basic option of all the parties to the Convention to address climate change. As early as in 1994, the Chinese Government formulated and published its sustainable development strategy-China's Agenda 21 -A White Paper on Population, Environment and Development in the 21st Century. Later in 1996, the Chinese Government, for the first time, adopted sustainable development as the key guideline and strategic goal for its national social and economic development. In 2003, the Chinese Government further formulated the Program of Action for Sustainable Development in China in the Early 21st Century. China will continue to actively tackle climate change issues in accordance with its national sustainable development strategy in the future.

- To follow the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" of the UNFCCC. According to this principle, developed countries should take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as providing financial and technical support to developing countries. The first and overriding priorities of developing countries are sustainable development and poverty eradication. The extent to which developing countries will effectively implement their commitments under the Convention will depend on the effective implementation by developed country of their basic commitments.

- To place equal emphasis on both mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation and adaptation are integral components of the strategy to cope with climate change. For developing countries, mitigation is a long and arduous challenge while adaptation to climate change is a more present and imminent task. China will strengthen its policy guidance for energy conservation and energy structure optimization to make efforts to control its greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, China will take practical measures to enhance its capacity to adapt to climate change via key projects for ecosystem protection, disaster prevention and reduction and other key infrastructure construction.

- To integrate climate change policy with other interrelated policies. Since adaptation to climate change and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions involve many aspects of the social and economic sectors, policies to address climate change and other related ones will only be effective if they are integrated. China will continue to consider energy conservation, energy structure optimization, ecological preservation and construction, and overall agricultural productivity advancement as important components of its national climate change policy. Therefore, China will give full consideration to climate change issues by integrating the policy of climate change mitigation and adaptation into its national social and economic development program and pushing forward the policy in a coordinate way.

- To rely on the advancement and innovation of science and technology. Technological advancement and innovation are the effective way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the capacity of adaptation to climate change. Realizing the leading and fundamental function of scientific and technological advancement in mitigation and adaptation to climate change, China will make great efforts to develop new and renewable energy technologies and new technologies of energy conservation, to promote carbon sink technologies and other adaptive technologies, to accelerate scientific and technological innovation and importation, and to provide a strong scientific support to address climate change and promote the capacity of sustainable development.

- To participate in international cooperation actively and extensively. Global climate change is a serious common challenge to the international community. Though countries differ in the understanding of climate change and in ways and means of addressing this issue, they share a basic consensus for cooperation and dialogue to jointly address the challenges of climate change. China will continue to actively participate in the international negotiations of the UNFCCC and relevant activities of the IPCC. China is ready to strengthen international cooperation of addressing climate change, including cooperation of clean development mechanism and technology transfer, to join efforts with the international community to tackle global climate change.

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