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Roundup: Where China leads, we will follow: Australian Climate Minister

SYDNEY, March 28 — Australia's climate change minister Greg Combet has described China's climate change action as a model for other nations to follow and condemned western media for its failure to highlight China's leadership in positive climate action, at a key Ministerial Dialogue in Sydney.

In a keynote speech delivered to experts from both countries at the Australia China Climate Change Forum at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Combet said China is moving towards a low- carbon path at an 'astonishing' pace.

"In 2005, China had next to no renewable industry. It now leads the world in wind, solar and hydro power. China is the world leader when it comes to renewable energy investment.

"And two weeks ago, for the first time ever, China made public its detailed plan to implement a nation-wide emissions trading scheme."

The Australia-China Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change, opened by UNSW President and Vice Chancellor Fred Hilmer, saw experts gather in concert with Combet, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, and H.E. Xie Zhenhua, the Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Combet pulled no punches when he assessed China's role in the renewable energy challenge and western media's failure to recognize the battle now being waged at all levels of Chinese society.

"It's disappointing how often you see stories in the media which focus on China's emissions, yet ignore the enormous effort the country is making to tackle climate change."

A world leader in renewables investment, China plans to increase its renewable energy power capacity by 167GW by 2015, an overall increase of 68 per cent from 2010.

Estimates place the commitment at almost 2 trillion RMB.And the incoming government has a headline target of increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in the country's energy mix from 8 percent in 2010, to 11.4 percent in 2015 leading to 15 percent in 2020.

Australia is facing its own uphill battle to enshrine a carbon price policy roundly criticized by large sections of the business community and an opposition coalition.

Combet said Chinese support would be decisive as Australia confronts the truth of its climate responsibilities.(PNA/Xinhua)

HBC/JCF

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