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Save Energy to 'Reduce' Climate Woes

China can cut its greenhouse emissions and achieve its goal of reducing the use of energy by developing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said.

The Chinese version of a recent climate change report was released Monday, with the WWF saying the country can tackle the challenges of climate change by resorting to the two suggested solutions.

China's huge population and rapid economic development have increased the demand for energy. Its total primary energy consumption reached nearly 2.5 billion tons of coal equivalent last year, the WWF report says.

But the country's energy efficiency contrasts at a low level of only 33 percent. In fact, it only equals the level of developed countries 20 years ago and far outclasses the world average energy intensity of per unit GDP, the report says.

"The WWF report shows China still has enough room to improve energy efficiency," said Chen Dongmei, director of Climate Change and Energy Program of WWF China.

The government has set a goal of reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 20 percent during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).

"Achieving this efficiency target will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction by 1.5 billion tons, or 40 percent of China's total CO2 emission in 2004," Chen said.

"Improving energy conservation and efficiency is the priority for China if it wants to cut CO2 emissions."

WWF's proposals come mostly from the country's policy-making and energy-saving technology adoption, he said.

The report, "Climate Solutions: WWF's Vision for 2050", was compiled by WWF's Energy Task Force, with contributions from more than 100 scientists and experts.

It puts forward six solutions, including improving energy efficiency, stopping deforestation, accelerating the development of low-emission technologies, developing flexible fuels, replacing high-carbon coal with low-carbon gas and equipping fossil-fuel plants with carbon capture and storage technology.

The report concludes that a combined adoption of the solutions would meet the world's expected two-fold demand for energy by 2050 without aggravating climate change, but the governments have a limited period of time to agree on necessary measures for change.

The WWF report has three imperatives: urgency, global effort and leadership. Climate change is an issue every country has to tackle, WWF China Country Representative Dermot O'Gorman said. Irrespective of whether they are developed or developing, countries across the world have to bear common but differentiated responsibility to achieve the united goal.

Published just a week before the crucial UN climate conference in Bali, this WWF road map shows solutions are at hand and are affordable, O'Gorman said. Leaders at the Bali conference have to agree on decisive action to ensure we stay below 2 C of temperature rise.

(China Daily November 27, 2007)

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