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US to lead climate change charge

[ 2009-07-16 11:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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The United States is ready to lead the fight against climate change, US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said yesterday in Beijing.

"The US is trying to show some leadership. I'm here today to tell you that the US is now ready to lead," said Chu, the 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics, during his speech to students at Tsinghua University.

The US is in the process of setting itself targets to cut emissions by 83 percent by 2050 from its 2005 levels as part of its landmark climate and energy bill, which is awaiting approval from the Senate.

For more than an hour, Chu presented data outlining the extent of climate change and the ramifications for nations, particularly China, that will follow, including the threat of rising sea levels.

"Science has shown that we are altering the destiny of our planet. The consequences of what we are doing today will not be fully realized for at least 100 years," Chu said.

And he revealed that, until six years ago, he was a climate change skeptic, even though data accrued from deep within ice packs and the concentration of carbon convinced him that something "very disturbing" was taking place.

Despite the challenges, he remains optimistic that, through concerted collaboration and effort, particularly with his counterparts in China and other developing nations, the fight can be won.

And Chu suggested that China and the US cooperate on clean energy, saying there are huge opportunities for partnerships to make buildings more energy-efficient.

"It is through collaboration between the United States and China in co-developing new science and technology that we will find new solutions," he said, noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between China and the US.

The establishment of a joint research center on clean energy was also announced yesterday, after State Councilor Liu Yandong met Chu and US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.

With initial financing of $15 million and headquarters in both countries, the center will focus on developing clean buildings and vehicles, Associated Press reported.

Experts welcomed the establishment of the joint research center.

"It's good to see the two countries cooperate on environmental protection and climate change," said Zhang Tuosheng, a scholar at the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies.

"China's stance, to share common but differentiated responsibilities in emission reduction, remains unchanged and China will try its best because we are all in this together."


1. In which year did Dr Chu win the Nobel Prize for Physics?

2. According to Dr Chu how much will the US try to reduce its emissions from its 2005 levels to the year 2050?

3. When did Dr Chu first become convinced that climate change as affected by human activities was real?


1. 1997.

2. By 83 percent.

3. 6 years ago.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

US to lead climate change charge

US to lead climate change chargeBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.