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Economic restructuring imperative for developing low-carbon industries: U.N. climate official

COPENHAGEN, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- China can develop its low-carbon economy with emissions reduction in mind, strengthen macroeconomic guidance and industrial structural adjustment, and actively seek a new low-carbon industry mode with Chinese characteristics, a U.N. official said.

Developing low-carbon industries is one of the effective ways to fight global climate change, said Gao Feng, director of legal department at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat.

Gao said China recently announced its emissions cut target more because of the needs of its domestic economic growth than international pressure.

On Nov. 26, China said it would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 percent to 45 percent from the 2005 level.

He noted that China has put emphasis on economic restructuring in its endeavor to cut carbon emissions. It is both necessary and urgent for China to develop low-carbon economy as the country has s confronted with the need for domestic economic restructuring against the backdrop of unbalanced international economic structure.

Gao said difficulties in cutting carbon emissions derived, to a great extent, from trouble with economic restructuring, adding changes in global industrial map are imperative to solve the imbalance of the global economic structure.

In the current global division of industrial labor, China has engaged in industries of high pollution and high energy consumption to turn out consumer goods for other countries.

As a result, it has paid a heavy price in terms of resource drain and high carbon emissions, he said.

He noted that China has beefed up efforts to restructure its economy, increase domestic demand and boost economic growth with the help of scientific and technological progress.

With increasing overall strength and huge foreign currency reserve, China can avail itself of opportunity to readjust the existing international division of industrial labor, Gao said, describing it as the only way for China to cut carbon emissions and avoid trade wars.

A low-carbon economy means that China needs to develop high-tech manufacture, the third industry and renewable energy, which produce low carbon emissions, he added.

In addition to renewable energy, green technology, low-carbon economy also includes service sectors, high-end manufacturing industry and others. Proper population policies, urbanization, education and social policies, among others, also help achieve thegoal of reducing carbon emissions, he added.

He noted that the current international regulations concerning low-carbon economic growth are far from being perfect and coordinated efforts from the international community are needed. That is exactly the major task of the ongoing U.N. climate change meeting, he said.

"I hope a new agreement can be reached at the ongoing Copenhagen climate change conference, so that all countries would jointly develop low-carbon technology and boost low-carbon economy," Gao said.

"China will contribute significantly to combating global climate change by intensifying its efforts to readjust industrial structure and seek a new mode of low-carbon economy," he added.


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