Dr. Ping He Accepted CNA Reporter’s Interview

Release time:2014-11-11

Interview with Dr. Ping He, president of the International Fund for China’s Environment

March 9, 2008

Contributed by Qiu Jiangbo, China News Agency (CNA) reporter

Washington, March 9(CNA)―At the just-concluded Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, representatives from countries worldwide believe that climate change is the common problem to all nations. The rapid development of China is also facing more and more environmental pressure from domestic and international. As a specially invited representative of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference- National Committee, president of Washington-based International Fund for China’s Environment Dr. Ping He recently accepted CNA reporter’s interview, He suggested that China should adopt progressive and scientific strategy to deal with challenge and defuse pressure.

He Ping believes that in recent years China has gradually become the focus of the international discussion of climate change. China, as a developing country, has the world's largest population; its developmental task is very arduous, if international society requires China undertaking the equal international responsibility with the developed countries, it is obviously unrealistic and not reasonable.

At present, emissions are calculated by three important indicators: First, total emissions; Second, per capita emissions; third, per GDP emissions. According to He Ping’s analysis, along with China's economic development and the improvement of living standards, the total quantity of emissions and per capita emissions will increase in near future, but with adequate measures, the emissions of unit GDP could be likely reduced.

He Ping therefore suggested that China in the international multilateral negotiations should adopt such a strategy: make commitment to reduce the emissions of unit GDP. He Ping believes that this is in consistent with China’s domestic policy of "energy-saving and reduction of emissions", which encourages the restructuring of the economy, and reduces energy consumption, as well as achieves greenhouse gas emission reduction. However, He Ping points out that the Chinese government should soberly realize that, although establishing a target to raise 20% energy efficiency by 2010, it will have great difficulty, with the huge gaps in technologies and financing.

He Ping also suggested that vigorously developing renewable energy is another key for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. On the one hand, this approach can increase national energy security and stability; on the other hand, it also can reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. China is very rich in solar, wind and biomass energy resources, but because of technical and financial reasons, renewable energy accounted for the proportion of the entire energy consumption remains small. The government should further increase investment and adopt favorable policies in this respect to promote the development and applications of new energy sources.

Whereas the policy guiding for the formation of a new industry is crucial, He Ping even suggested that if solar energy is used in all governments’ buildings and public-funded projects, solar energy industry in China will be able to get large promotion. Biomass energy’s potential is also very significant: if China’s 100 million mu wastelands are all planted with energy plants, and transformed into bio-diesel, it could replace 30% of China’s oil demand, while farmers also have a new income source. However, this still requires on extensive technological research. Solving China’s energy problem should be based on domestic resources, on the one hand raise energy efficiency, on the other hand seeks technological breakthrough. True energy security lies in the independent development of new energy technologies.

Planting trees and reforestation, and restoring vegetation are also the direct method of reducing greenhouse gases. He Ping calculated that according to per million square kilometers mature woodland absorbed 12 trillion ton of carbon, if China increase 1% woodland, namely 96,000 square kilometers, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced 1.15 trillion, equivalent to 82% of China’s total carbon emissions at present. However, this expert points out that China’s planting trees and reforestation should be more efficient, woodland structure should be more scientific. Though single-species, fast-growing forest brings rapid economic benefits, but its ecological function is very limited, this even brings negative effects on the vegetation in semi-dryland.

Recently, in a paper entitled “Facing climate change, what China should do”, Ping He boldly suggested that China domestic “energy saving and emission reduction” policy should be defined as an important part and concrete action of “mitigate climate change, carry out international obligations”. The government shall annually publish the carbon emissions reduction through energy saving and emission reduction, meanwhile request developed countries provide related technical and financial assistances. As a matter of fact, we should let the world understand that, China, as the world’s major production base, its pressure on climate change is actually the common pressure of the world.

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