Not optimistic on emissions cuts: China

Last Updated: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 16:06

Beijing: China, the world`s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, said on Thursday it was "not very optimistic" about meeting some of the slash emissions target it had set earlier.
Vice Minister of Environment Zhang Lijun said to
reduce China`s polluting emissions was a daunting task and
"the situation is not very good."

Sulfur dioxide emissions increased by 1.2 percent
year-on-year in the first quarter of 2010, the first increase
since 2007, he told a press conference.

The output of energy-consuming industrial products has
increased quite fast this year, which is one of the reasons
which caused the increase, he said.

"This sounded the alarm for our emissions reduction
work and showed that the situation is not very optimistic," he
said.

Zhang also attributed the emissions increase to the
severe drought in southwest China early this year, slow
development of some projects to cut pollutants and greenhouse
gas emissions as well as weakening efforts of some local
governments and enterprises.

"Major problems exist, such as relatively heavy
pollution of surface water across China, pollution of coast
waters, reoccurring acid rain in some regions, traffic noise
pollution at night and a worsening environmental situation in
rural areas," he said.

China and United States top the list of world`s
polluters accounting for 21.5 and 20.2 respectively of the
global emissions total. India figures fourth with 5.3 per
cent.

China has set a target to reduce sulphur dioxide
emissions and chemical oxygen demand (COD), two main
indicators of air and water pollution, by 10 percent from 2006
to 2010.

The country`s COD and sulphur dioxide emissions fell
9.66 percent and 13.14 percent last year compared to those in
2005, respectively.

The average sulfur dioxide concentration in the air
over Chinese cities stood at 0.035 milligram per cubic meter
last year, a reduction of 16.7 percent from 2005 and had not
changed since 2008, Zhang said.

Ahead of the Copenhagen summit last year, China
announced that it will reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide
emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 per cent in 2020,
compared with 2005 levels.

China had also promised to ensure renewable and
nuclear energy accounts for 15 per cent of the country`s total
primary energy consumption by 2020 and has also committed to
planting 40 million hectares of tree to increase the country`s
forest area.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 16:06

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