XINING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — Northwest China’ s Qinghai on Wednesday became the first province to establish a regulation that holds local governments and state-owned enterprises responsible in coping with climate change.
Called Qinghai’ s Regulations of Coping with Climate Change, issued by the provincial government Wednesday and scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, the regulations will cover the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which has one of the most fragile ecological systems in the world.
Energy savings, emissions reductions, water resource conservation and other works related to climate change will be considered when evaluating senior officials of governments and state-owned enterprises administered by Qinghai, the new regulation stipulates.
"The regulation is a landmark in China’ s creation of a legal framework in curbing climate change as it stresses and specifies local government’ s responsibility on climate change," said Wang Zhiqiang, head of the policy and law department of the China Meteorological Administration.
Governments administrated by Qinghai should build policies in line with the regulation and support green development, said Li Xiaoyu, deputy head of Qinghai’ s legislative office.
"If officials fail to meet their duties in combating climate change, they are subject to punishments stipulated by the regulation," Li added.
"The regulation, based on China’ s laws, regulations and policies, provides a basis for law enforcement and government agencies to implement climate change policies and punish offenders," Wang said.
"Qinghai’ s temperature has been on the rise, reaching record highs this summer, and the trend is still going up," said Wang Shen, deputy head of Qinghai’ s Meteorological Bureau.
Statistics show Qinghai’ s temperature has been rising by 0.35 centigrade every ten years, compared to the world average of 0.13 centigrade.
Some mountain ice caps and frozen soil atop the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are melting, triggering floods, expanding deserts and degrading the ecology.
Qinghai is the source of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, China’ s two major rivers. The Mekong, an international river that runs through southern Asia, also begins in the province. Its ecology has attracted extensive concern from home and abroad.
China’ s state council issued a plan to cope with climate change in 2007.