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Special> United Nations Climate Change Conference> Opinion
UPDATED: December 4, 2009 Web Exclusive
Agreement at Copenhagen Is Possible

Rather, it needs a large number of raw materials to guarantee the infrastructure construction and housing construction. What's more, it also requires a large quantity of machinery. Otherwise, industrialization and urbanization cannot be completed. After all, no country can develop high technology without good efforts.

In terms of energy structure, China has always emphasized the development of renewable energy over the past three decades. But the basic energy structure has not changed. Currently, coal accounts for about 69 percent of the energy mix, petroleum about 22 percent, natural gas two percent, hydro-power about seven percent, and nuclear energy one percent.

Given its economic foundation, China needs industrialization and urbanization with low costs. That's why we have become more dependent on conventional chemical energy

. If we rely on wind and solar power, we will probably need 200 years to realize a modernization that could have been achieved in 50 years.

Therefore, if wind and solar power cannot have revolutionary technological breakthroughs, we will be unable to complete the tough task of industrialization.

In terms of technical expertise, many people think China is backward in technology with low energy efficiency. In fact, this is not true. While some technologies in China are quite backward, it also features many high-end technologies.

In general, our technological advances are quite significant. China has all the technologies that other countries have, while it also possesses considerable technological expertise that others do not have – such as solar water heaters, marsh gas in rural areas, among other things.

Meanwhile , China's energy efficiency is, in many ways, superior to that of foreign countries. For instance, in steel and iron enterprises above designated scale, the comprehensive energy consumption per ton of steel is less than 0.7 tons, lower than the average of Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

In addition, the quality of China's new construction of energy efficient standards is very high. And its fuel efficiency is also higher than the U nited States.

Thus, it is a tough target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

Take South Korea for example. Seoul's level of development and industrialization between 1970 and1990 was the same as that of China today. Its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP increased by 2.6 percent, and only decreased by 14 percent from 1990 to 2007.

And although China's carbon emissions per unit of GDP fell by 49 percent under very difficult conditions during the period 1990-2007, this does not mean that this outstanding figure can also be achieved in the future.

China shut down a large number of thermal power-generating units by below 50 thousand Kilowatts during the Eleventh Five-year Plan. So the space for technical energy saving is becoming greatly reduced.

This means that there will be no thermal power generating units to be closed by the end of the Twelfth Five-year Plan. Thus, it will be very difficult to achieve this reduction target. It calls for good efforts.

Some Western countries impose environmental taxes on imported products and foreign airliners. This could easily lead to trade protectionism under the excuse of environmental protection. How should we prevent this condition?

This is definitely trade protectionism under the guise of "climate protection." Such protectionism is inevitable, of course. But for a country, it can reveal its determination from the political level – by formulating more laws and regulations while improving energy efficiency, thus enhancing the competitiveness of its own business enterprises. All these will help nations deal with non-tariff barriers.

China has done a lot in energy saving and emissions reduction – including reforestation, increasing the proportion of non-oil energy sources and promoting research and development of new energy vehicles . On the other hand, we also want to lead the Chinese people to a better life and enjoy the convenience brought by modern technology. How could we balance this contradiction? Do you support giving up some personal enjoyment of life for energy saving?

I have been to many European countries, and I have found that many cities' consumption patterns and lifestyles are worth learning from.

In Europe, for example, most of cars are small-displacement vehicles; whereas in China, most are large-displacement cars. In addition, Many European buildings are also very energy-efficient.

Personally, I support the energy-saving and low-carbon lifestyle. I do not think driving should be an enjoyment. But if I do not drive to work, a lot of time will doubtlessly be wasted on the road. This is decided by the development stage China is in.

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