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Cover Stories Series 2011
UPDATED: December 15, 2011
Coping With Environment, Economic Crises Needs New Approaches

The just-ended UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, and the European Union summit in Brussels showed humanity is facing many challenges and crises that should be tackled with innovation and new mechanisms.

Both the world's current environment and economic crises were a result of the mistakes made by human beings in seeking economic development in the past.

The global warming and environment crisis was caused by many countries, especially developed countries, who stimulated economic development at the expense of the environment.

On the economic front, the maintenance of an expensive welfare social system by some European countries and the United States for many years has led them to embark on an unsustainable development path.

This pattern of unsustainability will have a profound impact on the world economy once the chronic illness related to it surfaces.

Solving the root causes of the two crises is a long, complex and arduous task, which involves not only environmental protection, economic growth, job creation and economic restructuring, but also the establishment of a new world economic and political order.

The task also calls for the exploration of a new development mode and the creation of new theories.

Great efforts should be made to develop new technologies to help solve the environment problems. New technologies, such as electric cars, renewable energy and fuel-efficiency technologies are needed to help reduce gas emissions to cope with global warming.

The EU summit in Brussels has stressed the importance of new technologies to economic growth and job creation and underlined the importance of information technology.

Both the Durban climate conference and the EU summit also called for the creation of a new mechanism for renovation and innovation.

After marathon talks, the 194-party conference in Durban agreed to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-DPEA), under which the Kyoto Protocol will start its second commitment period in 2013.

Meanwhile, the EU took a step towards a European economic union by agreeing on a new fiscal pact on Friday. They agreed to reinforce fiscal discipline and impose an automatic sanctions mechanism, laying a foundation for the establishment of a European Monetary Union.

Developed European countries and the United States should shoulder their historic responsibilities for both the environment and economic crises. They need to fully understand this point and consider the interests of developing countries while seeking technological advancement and creating new mechanisms, systems and new theories.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2011)

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