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China Called To Urgently Reduce Urban Emissions

China has been called on to urgently reduce urban emissions, a new report from the World Bank said on Thursday.

With cities contributing an estimated 70 percent of energy-related greenhouse gases, the report said urgent action is needed, because China is on track to add about 350 million residents to its cities over the next 20 years.

The report, titled Sustainable Low-Carbon City Development in China, targets central government policymakers and those of municipalities, cities and townships in China with practical lessons on sustainable low-carbon development, according to a World Bank news release.

"For China to achieve its 12th Five-Year Plan target to reduce 17 percent carbon intensity, addressing cities' emissions is crucial," said World Bank's Country Director for China Klaus Rohland. "The report provides a framework for actions that Chinese cities could and are already taking to promote both economic development and low-carbon growth."

The report suggests the cities will need to tackle the issue on "multiple fronts" and notes industry and power generation as contributors for about 40 percent of city emissions each, with the remaining 20 percent contributed by transport, buildings and waste.

Energy-efficient buildings and industries, a greener transport system and an efficient management of water, wastewater and solid waste are all ways to cut down on emissions, according to the report.

"The central government has set clear targets to the reduce carbon intensity of the economy; but a few key complementary actions - on the land and municipal finance agenda, on facilitating coordination across different governmental entities - could help to empower city governments to effectively implement low-carbon action plans," added Shomik Mehindratta, World Bank Lead Urban Transport Specialist and co-editor of the report.

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