China launches climate project with Britain, Switzerland

China has launched with Britain and Switzerland a project aimed at finding ways for the Asian giant to tackle climate change and mitigate its effects, officials said Thursday.

The Adapting to Climate Change in China project will run from this year through 2012, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Beijing’s top economic planning agency, in a statement on its website.

Britain’s departments for International Development and Energy and Climate Change along with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will provide financial support and technical assistance for the project, the NDRC said.

The official Xinhua news agency said 6.75 million dollars would be invested in the project.

Pilot programmes for the project will be rolled out in Ningxia Hui region and Inner Mongolia in northern China and Guangdong province in the south, the statement said.

The project will look at the impact of climate change on agriculture, water resources, grassland livestock, natural disasters and human health and then develop measures and polices to tackle the problems, it said.

China, which is level pegging with the United States as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, has committed in its current five-year plan to cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010.

In his UN speech on climate change this week, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to curb the growth of China’s carbon dioxide emissions by a “notable margin” by 2020 from their 2005 levels.

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