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China Releases First National Climate Change Assessment; Proposes Increased Prices on Energy Products

27 December 2006

Chinacc
Ministers release the assessment on climate change.

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and six other ministries jointly issued a preliminary report on the country’s first national assessment of climate change and its impacts. The full assessment will be fully released in 2007.

According to the report, China’s average annual temperature will increase between 1.3° and 2.1° C by 2020. By the middle of the century, average temperatures will rise by as much as 3.3° C and by 2100 by as much as 6° C.

Work on the report began in December 2002 by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the China Meteorological Administration, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, the State Environmental Protection Administration, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, State Forestry Bureau. State Oceanic Administration, the National Natural Science Foundation and other 12 departments worked closely together on the report.

The report is divided into three parts: the history and future trends of climate change; adaptation to the impacts of climate change; and the socio-economic evaluation of the mitigation of climate change. The main conclusions of the report are:

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities is leading to the increasingly serious problem of global climate change. In addition to the increases in average annual temperature, average annual precipitation may increase. Regional differences in precipitation patterns will become more obvious, and the north will likely show a marked increase in rains.

    However, with the average increase in temperatures also comes an increase in evaporation, further aggravating the water shortages in the north. Extreme weather and climate events will increase in the future.

  2. China’s agricultural and water resources, forests and other natural ecosystems are vulnerable to the effects of global climate change. The report highlights the vulnerability of the coastal zone and coastal ecological systems to the adverse effects of global climate change, and notes that these may be exacerbated by natural disasters.

  3. The report states that China needs to make a positive contribution to the protection of the global environment.

  4. The assessment concludes that it is now necessary for China to deal with global climate change as a new driving force, and to promote new energy technologies, energy conservation and resources.

  5. The report asserts that developing with global climate change policies and measures to achieve sustainable development in China is of great significance, and must be tackled by government at all levels.

  6. Further study is required on the scientific and technical issues, and to study the feasibility and effectiveness of certification.

China’s 11th Five-Year Plan period has the monitoring of global environmental change and countermeasures"as the key tasks for scientific and technological work, as well as the strengthening of energy-saving technologies, renewable energy technologies, nuclear technology, efficient use of clean coal technology and carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies.

Separately, and the day after the public release of the report, China News reported that the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) approved a pricing scheme on the consumption of energy products. After soliciting ideas from various local departments, SDRC will submit the scheme to the State Council for approval. Once the scheme is approved by the State Council, it will mean that prices of energy products will change greatly in 2007.

Based on this scheme, the pricing reform will start in energy products related with water, petroleum, electricity, natural gas, coal and land resources consumption. Garbage treatment and sewage water disposal fees will also be raised. The scheme differs from previous ones in that the costs of reducing and controlling environmental pollution and the inevitable costs paid after natural resources are depleted are both calculated in setting the new price.

The scheme aims to promote energy conservation and the comprehensive use of energy products, so that the prices can reflect the scarcity of resources that make these products. It also wants to convey the message that those who pollute the environment will need to pay for the pollution.

December 27, 2006 in China, Climate Change | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

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It is really reassuring to find that a country that will be using more energy than the United States is addressing the main concerns of its impact on not only China but also the global community. We will have to watch to see how their efforts will impact other countries and the price of energy and energy products (electricity, fuel, solar and wind energy products, hybrid and other fuel efficient cars, etc.)
I look forward to perhaps better cooperation from the U.S. Government as more and more countries become proactive in addressing the climate impact of our large population. We won't be proactive much longer if we don't join the effort soon.

China's corruption argues that this won't work very well for some time, if ever.  We'll see if this is actually implemented, or if the wealthy and connected buy their way out of the need to comply.

China-

If you really want to decrease greenhouse gas rates, how about putting a cap on population and aim for significant population decreases. Other countries should follow suit.

Well, well. Somebody believes that corrupted large corporations and/or individuals in China will do as their USA counterparts have done for many decades.

Very interesting. We will see how two very different administration styles approach the application of regulations to slow climate changes.

Who is going to measure the degree of corruption in both countries?

Will voluntary reporting be used?

As much as the autocratic government in China has been criticized, this democracy-suppressing regime has an enviable record of successes in some very tough problem-areas such as population control, drug problem, corruption, etc. and the managed economic growth has been of explosive rate. The ruthlessly-enforced one-child family policy has completely halted China's explosive population growth, unlike India and other parts of the third world. Deep-rooted nationalism and strong loyalty to its cultural heritage have been the driving force in all of the above achievements, the same driving force in Japan's stellar economic success. I would expect that China will be able to achieve a large part of the environmental goal that they are setting.

Likewise, the European Union have been holding their own thanks to their increase unity and cohesiveness with some help from rising nationalism in Europe as well.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of America who has been losing much of its nationalism and national loyalty since its peak in WWII, with a slight resurgence since 911, but since has also been waning. Perhaps the largest-ever influx of economic immigrants in the 20th century, seeking more material wealths and materialism, more than any other values in life, has diluted the once-strong American patriotism. Without a strong national identity and loyalty, we have seen a decline in America's industrial and technological prowess. Thus came the ME generation and the lawyer-ruled society, ever-increasing litiginous for personal gains while forget to do what's good for the country or for the world!

Perhaps in the fight against global warming, it is important to incite a sense of loyalty and group awareness against selfish interests.

China adopted their infamous 1 child policy in 1979.
The problem with this is enforcement.

Concerns regarding sustainability have shifted from population growth to the consumption/savings ratio.
The Malthusian catastrophe may now only be avoided by a significant shift towards sustainability in consumer preferences/public policy. We need to get a blip from Washington DC on this radar soon!

On the other hand, do we really believe that China will build stipulated higher energy costs in their prices to WalMart? CEO H. Lee Scott might not want to phathom that scenario.

Roger Phan:

One must admit that your assumptions are basically correct. Democracies (especially those with very strong lobbies) do not have a good track record with anti-pollution enforcement.

A closer look at how West Virginia coal mines (mountain razing) and Alberta Tar Sands activities are managed give a good idea where we're going with pollution controls.

Will China do better? Let's hope so.

Roger Pham wrote: Sadly, the same cannot be said of America who has been losing much of its nationalism and national loyalty since its peak in WWII, with a slight resurgence since 911, but since has also been waning. Perhaps the largest-ever influx of economic immigrants in the 20th century, seeking more material wealths and materialism, more than any other values in life, has diluted the once-strong American patriotism.

Roger, the last time Americans got nationalistic and patriotic, we invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, despite lies to the contrary. The lies continue as Bush conflates Iraq with radical Islam by calling it the "central front in the Long War". Samuel Johnson had it right when he said "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels". Patriotism and nationalism are the root of much evil. Why don't you talk up racism, while you're at it? There's not a dime's worth of difference between racism and nationalism.

Harvey D wrote: One must admit that your assumptions are basically correct. Democracies (especially those with very strong lobbies) do not have a good track record with anti-pollution enforcement.

Say What? Compare the environmental track record of the US and Europe with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. That said, I agree that powerful lobbies, a misinformed populace and a timid press are detrimental to a democracy. We have all three in the US, all contributing to our slow fall from primacy. Still, the air is a lot cleaner here, and we haven't had a river catch on fire in a long time.

Thanks, George, for your heartfelt feedback.

I believe that there is a clear distinction between nationalism and racism. A nation can be made of people of different races or ethnic groups, but can be united by a common ideology. Nationalism is loyalty to that nation which represents an ideology acting as a common bond to unite all the people in that country, regardless of race. In WWII, American soldiers are of multi-racial background, yet are quite united to fight for the cause of freedom and humanity, which represents America's ideology. The Muskogee airmen (Black) and the American Indians (for example, in the movie Windtalker) who served in the US armed forces have proven that point. It was Hitler who gave a bad example to a pathologic style of nationalism that illogically blended it with racism.

It was my observation that in the Orient, there is much stronger emphasis on nationalistic indoctrination in formal school education than in America. Perhaps American educators have the same fear that you do! However, please rest assured that patriotism merely referred to as loyalty to the fatherland, or motherland if you are a Russian! Your mom or dad could be of any race, it's loyalty to the land that brought you up, that fed you and nurtured you that mattered.

The future of America depends on those American who cares about the future of this land. About protecting its environment! About protecting the developmental health of its growing generation! About preserving its racial harmony! About eliminating its energy dependency! About eliminating its looming budget deficit and trade deficit that may eventually lead to economic collapse...leading to social unrest...and then...racism will raise its ugly head!

For all the comments against China, at least it admits there is an impact on the climate and is willing to take a stand. The U.S. refused to admit that the problem was real, and then after slowing agreeing with other countries is not taking any leadership role to address it.
Most governments have issues that prevent them from reaching their goals, but at least China is putting SOME energy to addressing global climate change.
As for controlling population, I think that any country will have trouble telling a billion people what to do.

I would like to get the report itself. I've been looking on internet but cannot find it. Is there an official website where I can download it please?
Thank you,

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