smokestack.jpgChina has delayed indefinitely its national “action plan” on climate change, which was due to be released earlier this week.

No explanation was given for the move which comes at a time of growing international concern at China's apparent desire to back-pedal on earlier commitments to adopt a more progressive “green” agenda for economic growth.

The Financial Times says the action plan would be China's first
considered response to the latest scientific evidence on climate change
and would provide the basis for its position in negotiations for a
possible post-Kyoto international accord.

China has long argued that it should be freed of the binding
emission reduction targets envisaged for other Kyoto signatories
because it is a developing nation and such targets would stifle
economic growth.

Next month, the United Nations' Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change will publish a study
that adds to the growing volume of reports on this subject. Among its
recommendations is a call for the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases
— China, India and the US — to ratify Kyoto and accept reduction
targets. The report also advocates wider use of cleaner technologies to
reduce emissions.

The delay in launching the action plan is bad news for the growing
number of western companies that see juicy business opportunities in
“greening” China. The climate of uncertainty it creates may delay
orders and put investment projects on hold.

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