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|'Global cooperation is vital to address
Wang Guangtao is chairman, China's National People's Congress
(NPC) Standing Committee on Environment and Resources Protection. At
a GLOBE International meeting of legislators in Copenhagen, the
former minister of construction tells Narayani Ganesh that climate
change is a big challenge and even more so is the challenge of
What is the biggest challenge
China faces in dealing with environmental and social issues in the
context of climate change?
The biggest challenge is how to achieve sustainable development
without compromising economic growth. And how to deal with the issue
of climate change. The challenge is in finding ways of sourcing
clean energy and adopting conservation techniques as well as getting
ahead with great political will. As legislators, we need to fulfil
our responsibilities and accomplish our goals on addressing climate
change through domestic action and so make success possible in
India and China signed an MOU recently with reference to climate
change. Is it only about negotiating together at global meets or is
it also about sharing of experience and technology?
I cannot say anything about this right now as i was not present in
On the domestic front, what has China done to overcome the
problems of climate change?
China's NPC has recently adopted a resolution to address the issue
of climate change. The issue presents a major opportunity for, as
well as challenge to, China's economic and social development. The
resolution also says that what China needs is a scientific outlook
on development and concrete measures would need to be adopted to
address the issue of climate change. For this, the rule of law has
to be strengthened. Public awareness plays an important role as it
will lead to conscious effort to increase our capacity to address
climate change. International cooperation is necessary, too. Good
regulation and supervision need to be supported by respect for law.
We propose to implement earnestly the energy conservation law, the
renewable energy promotion law, the law of circular economy, laws
that promote cleaner production, and laws pertaining to forests and
China's 11th five-year plan on national economic and social
development sets targets for energy conservation and pollution
reduction. Regulatory teams that are engaged in supervision and
regulation to aid implementation of the law report some measure of
success. China, on the basis of such reports, has recently shut down
many small-scale highly-polluting enterprises. For example, many
small-scale coal-fired power plants have been shut down since 2006,
when the outline of the 11th five-year plan was approved. China is
investing in the promotion of wind, solar and hydropower and has
achieved good progress in use of wind and solar power.
What does China think of the US Bill on climate change that's
awaiting Senate approval?
The biggest change can be seen in the US approach to climate change
with President Barack Obama's positive attitude. We will have to
wait and see if the Bill is passed and what it means in practice.