Chinese Media Reports Reduced Emissions a PRC Government Priority

April 10, 2005

The Chinese news media has highlighted official support for “green energy” projects that focus on increased energy conservation and projects to use renewable resources to reduce emissions. Chinese officials have begun to take steps that could encourage emissions reduction, such as passing the Renewable Resources Law and drafting suggestions for revisions to environmental protection laws that punish violations of environmental protection laws more severely. In addition, the State Environmental Protection Agency has demanded that thermal power plants operating without desulphurization equipment obtain the required equipment by the end of 2005, according to a January 2005 article in the China Daily.

Officials have also begun pursuing emissions reduction projects under the auspices of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, according to reports in the Chinese media (1, 2, 3). According to a February article in the South China Morning Post (subscription only), Chinese environmentalists hope that, now that the Kyoto Protocol has come into effect, the Chinese government will begin to face diplomatic pressure to reduce emissions. The Chinese government signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2002. Because the Protocol does not categorize China as a developed country, the Chinese government is not required to reduce emissions.

The emission reduction obligations of countries like China will be reexamined in formal talks beginning in 2006. As reported in a Reuters article and a People’s Daily article, any new obligations would be effective in 2013 in a “post-Kyoto” agreement. To read more about China and CDM projects click here.