By Vishal Gulati
Katowice (Poland), Dec 13 (IANS) China has demanded the inclusion of sustainable and low-carbon bamboo in the ongoing climate talks as it can provide valuable opportunities for the green development of developing countries along the Belt and Road.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Office for South-South Cooperation and China's Special Climate Envoy on Wednesday jointly pushed the need to include bamboo in the climate change discussions.
The issue was raised at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) here and threw the spotlight on the need to include natural resources in the ongoing climate change negotiations.
Bamboo, a grass plant, can be an important way to "green" infrastructure drives as it can store up to 1,000 tonnes of carbon per hectare.
Studies say bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain species of tree and provide a year-round, climate-resilient form of income for millions of people around the world.
Xie Zhenhua, China's Special Representative on Climate Change, said the grass plant "can provide valuable opportunities for the green development of developing countries along the Belt and Road".
He also raised the possibility that bamboo could become part of China's new Emissions Trading Scheme, the largest in the world, as a way for polluting companies to offset emissions.
With a bamboo sector valued at over $30 billion, China is the leader in bamboo innovations.
UN Office for South-South Cooperation Director Jorge Chediek said he was "inspired" by China's uses of bamboo.
UNFCCC Director of Policy and Programme Martin Frick said: "For me, bamboo is one of the things where the Sustainable Development Goals agenda and the climate agenda really can go hand in hand."
He said Swedish homeware company IKEA was also investing heavily in bamboo and urged other companies to "think bamboo" as a means to green their manufacturing and construction processes.
(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at email@example.com)
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