Experts: Kyoto Protocol more positive than negative for China
BEIJING, Feb. 17 -- The Kyoto Protocol on global warming has officially gone into effect with 34 industrialized nations legally bound to control their emission of greenhouse gases. An expert has told CRI that the protocol is a positive rather than a negative for China's development.
Under the protocol, only developed nations are currently obligated to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels. China, which has approved the Kyoto Protocol, isn't obligated to cut carbon dioxide emissions during the pact's first phase, which ends in 2012.
However, experts say China will come under pressure over environmental issues nonetheless.
Yang Fuqiang is the chief representative of the Energy Foundation in Beijing. "The Kyodo Protocol has a strong impact on the Chinese economy development and policies towards the climate change."
China is now the second largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world after the US.
At its current growth levels, China is likely to surpass the United States in greenhouse emissions by 2030.
Dr. Yang Fuqiang says China's high output of greenhouse gases is mainly due to poor energy efficiency, which puts burdens on the country's limited energy resources, public health, and economic development. He says participation in the Kyoto Protocol provides China an opportunity to achieve sustainable development.
"For the countries ratified Kyoto Protocol, they have to do something to cut carbon emission, so they'd like to make cooperation with China, and find any opportunity to improve the energy efficiency to cut the carbon emission. In this case, I think it will be another opportunity for China, introducing the international best practice, international advanced technology and other policy issues to help China to reduce the energy consumption."
The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and ratified by 141 nations.
Its aim is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases tied with global warming.