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. Greenpeace urges China's Hu on climate change

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) March 24, 2009
The environmental campaign group Greenpeace China called Tuesday on President Hu Jintao to push China to the forefront of the fight against global warming.

It urged Hu to attend a key conference in the Danish capital Copenhagen in December at which nations are hoping to draw up a new agreement on minimising climate change to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

"As the largest global greenhouse (gas) emitter, China can and must take a leadership role in tackling global warming," the environmental group's climate change specialist Li Yan said in a statement.

China, as a developing nation, did not accept cuts in greenhouse emissions under Kyoto, and it wants to see significant financial incentives from richer countries before it commits to reductions under the new pact.

Such emissions are blamed for global warming, leading to higher sea levels and other potentially disastrous changes in the climate.

"The world will be closely watching Chinese President Hu Jintao... to see who will take this historic opportunity to show strong and decisive leadership to push forward an effective and immediate global action plan to combat the most profound crisis humanity has ever faced," Li said.

Greenpeace is calling on China to take strong measures to move the country away from polluting coal, and to increase its target of renewable energy to 30 percent of total energy use by 2020 -- up from the current 15 percent goal.

Without immediate action to tackle global warming, China's food production would drop significantly and the country would struggle to feed its own people by as early as 2030, the group warned.

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Tokyo declares cherry blossom season open
Tokyo (AFP) March 21, 2009
Japanese authorities on Saturday declared the cherry blossom season open in Tokyo, with the blooming date getting earlier due to what some experts say is the effect of global warming.

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