China's President Outlines Approach to Climate Change at UN

By Anthony Hwang
Published: 2009-09-25

On Tueday, President Hu Jintao outlined his country's plan to combat climate change to the UN General Assembly.

President Hu spoke about the need for both developed and developing nations to take a greater role in fighting global climate change.

Specifically Mr. Hu detailed the situation that developing and under developed nations' face when confronted with the challenge of global climate change.

"It is imperative to give full consideration to the development stage and basic needs of developing countries while we address climate change. The international community should pay close attention to the difficulties facing the developing countries, especially the small island states, the least developed countries, landlocked countries and African countries."

China's president then went on to outline China's future plans on limiting carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

Mr. Hu told the General Assembly that China would tackle global warming by endeavoring to cut carbon emitted per unit of gross domestic product by a "notable margin" by 2020, expanding forest coverage by 40 million hectares and increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020.

Furthermore the President spoke about the need to increase investment and research in a green and low carbon economy.  

Now the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China has been criticised by both European countries and the United States for not being willing to put a cap on carbon emissions.

However China has already seen the a 10.1% drop in emissions as a result of an ongoing energy efficiency drive. Some leading analysts believe that a twenty percent reduction is possible by 2020.

Analysts from from the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission said it would be another four to five years before China was able to implement a carbon tax.

Links and Sources
Xinhua: Text of Speech (Chinese)
New York Times: Text of Speech (English)
Sina: Video of Speech (Chinese)
Guardian: Video of Speech (English subtitles)