Mainland 'pouring money' into research on climate change

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2007, 12:00am

Funding for research into climate change in the mainland has doubled over the past 18 months compared with the previous five-year period, a senior science and technology ministry official said in Beijing yesterday.

Deputy Science and Technology Minister Shang Yong said nearly 5 billion yuan had been allocated since last year to climate-change-related fields such as the reduction of greenhouse gases and forecasting natural disasters, double the amount for the years 2001 to 2005.

Mr Shang said the mainland's emissions of carbon dioxide had little impact on rising global temperatures because most of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were left behind by developed countries as they passed through the early stages of industrialisation.

'But Chinese scientists are working consistently with their peers around the world to reduce emissions and develop countermeasures,' he said. 'We are making our biggest efforts to save the environment.'

Sun Hong, deputy director of the ministry's department of technology and science for social development, said the funds were distributed across four main research fields. Mr Sun said these fields were basic research on future climate problems, such as developing approaches to describe, predict and monitor abnormal weather; emissions reduction technology including new energy and power conservation methods; scientific measures to counter extreme weather and minimise its damage; and studies on a national strategy for climate change.

'Currently, our emphasis is on fundamental research and technological responses,' he said. 'Our accuracy in forecasting disasters has significantly improved in recent years. The world's leaders have reached a consensus that science and technology plays a decisive role in the response to climate change, greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy conservation.

'China is facing big difficulties in reaching its energy efficiency targets at the moment. Its success depends on technological advances.'

In the wind

The mainland emitted 25.89 million tonnes of the pollutant sulfur dioxide last year

Between 2006 and 2010, the central government has promised to cut emissions of major pollutants by 10%


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