Reconciling economic growth and environmental protection is one of the major challenges facing China. Recently ranked as the world’s second-largest economic power, and topping the list in terms of energy consumption, today China also occupies first place as emitter of greenhouse gases and is one of the countries most affected by climate change. Environmental protection and climate change have now been placed among the country’s priorities in the new five-year plan for the period 2011 through 2015.
In order to cope with these global challenges, Beijing is especially counting on international cooperation, and has launched an analysis of the different economic and legal instruments existing in certain countries. Hence, in 2010, China extended an invitation to Switzerland, via the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), to participate in the revision of the legal framework on the fight against air pollution and in the development of a draft law on the climate.
For this purpose, from 14 to 21 August 2011, the Swiss Confederation will be welcoming representatives of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science, and representatives of the Academy of Social Sciences.
The Chinese delegation will be presented with an overview of the various instruments developed to contribute to the implementation of Swiss climate policy, ranging from voluntary measures subscribed to by the economic sector, to the levying of a CO2 tax. The delegation will meet with experts from the Federal Office for the Environment and the Federal Office of Energy, as well as with representatives of the SDC. It will have the opportunity to hold discussions with Swiss parliamentarians and with representatives of the private sector. The programme also includes an on-site visit to an enterprise to observe first-hand how voluntary measures undertaken by the economic sector are contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
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