Not optimistic on emissions cuts: China
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 03, 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.


First Published: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 16:06

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