Environmentalists marked World Environment Day yesterday by praising the new National Action Plan on Climate Change, describing it as an active way to mitigate global warming.
James Leape, the director of World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) International, said the government recognizes the role conservation should play in formulating policy and has made protecting the environment a key part of its efforts to build a harmonious society.
The National Action Plan on Climate Change has for the first time linked the country's plan to cut energy use by 20 percent with the need to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change.
"This is a good step forward, but there is still more to be done in China and around the world," Leape said.
"The time has come for tough decisions, for bold actions by governments and the private sector."
He made the remarks yesterday at the ongoing two-day Global Ecological Forum, which is part of the WWF Annual Conference.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan gave the opening address, urging policymakers and the public to change the way they think about and use energy in order to come up with ways to halt climate change and create a more fair and equitable society for all.
Emeka Anyaoku, WWF International president, said: "The theme of our conference is Living Within One Planet, and never has the need to do so been greater."
"If poor countries are to develop, rich countries to maintain their prosperity and emerging economies to reach their full potential, then we must all embrace sustainable development. We simply cannot go on living beyond our natural means."
WWF's Living Planet Report 2006, released last October, presented a rapid and continuing loss of biodiversity, showing an overall decline of about 30 percent over a 33-year period.
It also showed that humanity's footprint - our impact upon the planet - tripled between 1961 and 2003. Climate-changing emissions from fossil fuel use made up 48 per cent of our footprint.
"If we are going to succeed in reducing our footprint, and reducing our loss of biodiversity, we must do more, and we must do it now," Leape said.
"We need to embark on ambitious new partnerships with governments, corporations, international institutions and other NGOs if we are going to get the world on a sustainable track."