Shanxi, Dec. 28, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- A newly planted forest will neutralize carbon dioxide emissions from a UN climate change conference as China ups its efforts to combat climate change, an official said here Tuesday.
Over 10 years the 333-hectare forest, spanning Xiangyuan, Xiyang and Pingshun counties in north China's Shanxi Province, will offset the estimated 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted during the conference in Tianjin early October, said Sun Zhen, deputy director of the Climate Change Department of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Since the five-day meeting that opened Oct. 4 was the first of its kind held in China, the Chinese government had decided to make the conference carbon-neutral, he said at the inauguration ceremony of the Carbon Neutral Forest Land of the Tianjin Conference.
The afforestation project has cost 3.75 million yuan (565,875 U.S. dollars), which was donated by the China Guodian Corporation, a major power company, and the Shanxi Lu'an Environmental Protection and Energy Development Co., Ltd.
Huo Zhuanye, deputy director of the Shanxi Provincial Forestry Bureau, said a variety of indigenous species, such as pitch pines, cedars, oriental arborvitae and peach trees, had been planted.
Local farmers entrusted to run the forest for 20 years were set to earn 2.6 million yuan in aggregate service revenue plus seven million yuan in aggregate proceeds from forest by-products and lumber, he said.
Su Zonghai, deputy secretary-general of China Green (NYSE:CHGN) Carbon Foundation, hoped the project could raise domestic awareness of using forest lands to better combat climate change.
"Widely recognized as an economical and efficient means to increase the carbon sink and reduce greenhouse gases in the next 30-50 years, the forestry industry plays a special role in combating climate change," said Su.
Su called on more local enterprises, civil societies and individuals to participate in carbon neutral projects.
Shanxi, heavily depending upon coal mining for economic growth, faces an arduous task of greenhouse gas reduction.
Official statistics show Shanxi's carbon intensity is the highest in China, with the sulfur dioxide emission per unit 3.55 times more than the national average, and chemical oxygen demand per unit, the index for water pollution, 1.78 times as much as the national average.