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Rise in Funding Pledged to Tackle Climate Change

The government has largely boosted funding for research on carbon emission reduction to tackle climate change but technology transfers from developed nations have been slow, a top official said Wednesday.

Talking to China Daily, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang urged developed nations to fulfill the promises of technology transfers for tackling global warming.

He made the remarks on the eve of a two-day Forum on Climate Change and Science & Technology Innovation, which opens today. More than 600 delegates from over 30 countries and regions are attending the event.

The country has launched more than 100 projects on climate change since 2006 as part of the National Key Technology Research and Development (R&D) Program, the 863 Program for upgrading industry, and the 973 Program for basic research, he said.

Some US$1 billion has been spent on these projects and more will follow, he said. The focus of research is on the technologies to save energy, reduce coal burning emissions, and use of natural gas, coal-bed methane and nuclear power.

"We expect low-carbon technologies to help create low-carbon industries and change China's current mode of development which relies heavily on coal," the minister said.

The process of technology transfers from developed nations, as set out by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, has been "very slow", he noted.

"Actually, there has been little progress in negotiations about technology transfers," he said.

According to the UN convention, which was signed by more than 150 countries and regions in 1992, developed nations have the responsibility to transfer appropriate technologies at a favorable price to developing countries.

Besides technologies for carbon emission reduction, China also needs technologies that can help it adapt to climate change, he added.

Wang also said Chinese scientists are conducting research on the possible influence of climate change on ecologically vulnerable areas, especially the Three Gorges Project and the South-North Water Diversion Project.

(China Daily April 24, 2008)

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