China Environmental News Digest

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Friday, April 27, 2007

China must end its dependency on coal: Greenpeace

25 April 2007, 17:00 CET

(COPENHAGEN) - Industrialised countries must support China's efforts to end its dependency on coal, which is highly pollutant, environmental group Greenpeace told an Asia Europe meeting (ASEM) in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

"Denmark and the European countries must call on the Asian Development Bank to phase out fossil fuels and shift all its energy funding to sustainable renewable energies and demand energy efficiency measures," Tarjei Haaland, head of Greenpeace's climate campaign, told AFP.

"The bank, which is mainly supported by the rich countries, must stop financing projects focused on coal," Greenpeace said, denouncing the "hypocrisy" of European countries which talk about fighting climate change while allowing the bank to continue funding polluting projects.

In a report on China's energy future published Wednesday, Greenpeace estimated that "China can achieve rapid economic growth without jeopardising the climate, through the use of renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency."

"The average Chinese consumes one third of the energy of an average European and one seventh of an American, but that number is set to increase. Our report shows that China can maintain economic growth and at the same time stabilise its CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions at the current level by 2050," energy expert Liu Shuang said.

China is the world's second-largest polluter after the United States and the world's biggest producer and consumer of coal. The Chinese government has set a target to supply 16 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The third ASEM meeting, taking place through Thursday in Copenhagen, brought together 38 European Union and Asian environment ministers and their delegations to discuss themes such as climate warming, sustainable energy, threats to biodiversity and deforestation.

Text and Picture Copyright 2007 AFP.

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