Clean law

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In a remarkable move, China passed a Renewable Energy Promotion Law on February 28, 2005, setting targets for developing renewable energy sources. China is the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide. But it has no binding obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, the global treaty to fight climate change, to cut greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions.

The law will be enforced from January 1, 2006. It gives renewable energy producers grid access and provides for spreading the costs of new clean energy technologies across the electricity sector. "China could and should be a world leader in renewable energy development...the international community will get behind China,' says Steve Sawyer of environmental group Greenpeace International.

In another development, us president George W Bush recently signed a pact with German Chancellor Gerhard Schoreder to help developing nations like China and India adopt clean energy technologies. The move was widely perceived as a pressure-deflecting attempt by the us, the world's biggest polluter.