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China is the best implementer of climate change policy: experts

By Miao Wanyi (People's Daily Overseas New Media)    16:47, November 25, 2019

Xie Zhenhua is speaking at the 20th anniversary ceremony of Energy Foundation China.

Photo via Energy Foundation China

“China is the best implementer of climate change policy. Period.”

The remarks came from Eric Heitz, former CEO & co-founder of Energy Foundation and an awardee of 2014 China Friendship Award, at a conference in Beijing on Nov. 20, which was full of an atmosphere of congruity.

“It is clear that China’s determination to fight climate change will not be shattered by flip-flops in the US government,” said former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the conference marking the 20th anniversary ceremony of Energy Foundation China, which continuously supports China’s policy and standard research, capacity building, and international cooperation in the energy, environment and climate fields, to achieve economic prosperity and climate safety.

China, which is undergoing massive industrial development, is ramping up its environmental management to resolve the impasse of global governance on climate change issues.

Guided by the conviction that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, China is now designing the 2050 Low Carbon Development Strategy to explore a sustainable way of coordinating development between economic construction, social progress, and environmental protection, said Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative on Climate Change.

Regarding energy conservation and emission reduction, China alone accounts for a quarter of the global net increase in leaf area since 2000 – despite containing only 6.3% of the world’s landmass, according to a recent study by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The result of effective afforestation is in line with the 45.8 % reduction of carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP – a commitment signed by Chinese government in Paris. China reached its target two/three years ahead of schedule.

Though China’s long-term GDP growth is slow yet stable, investment growth has rebounded from the lows in 2017, especially in the electric car industry, which has seen excellent performance. By 2017, the cumulative sales of new-energy vehicles reached 1.8 million in China, accounting for over 50% of the global cumulative sales figure, data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

Besides the new energy sector, in the next 15 to 20 years, at least $3 trillion will be required on infrastructure construction every year globally, according to Nicholas Stern, an economist at the London School of Economics. “Every department and every sector should be part of the sustainable development chain,” Stern said.

“Innovation should directly serve the green development. I would recommend 10-20 green technologies for China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, which could generate both economic and social benefits in the short and medium term. Hopefully, the techniques can be promoted by both the Chinese government and overseas governments to together pragmatically bolster the green economy,” said Liu Shijin, China’s chief adviser to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

China is adamant to partake in global governance on resolving climate change, as long as the door of rational international cooperation is open.

“China should act as their own pace … and should not be underscored by other forces and voice,” commented Todd Stern, former US chief negotiator at the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, on China’s international role as a contributor to the concern of climate change.

“We are the first generation affected by climate change and the last generation to make a difference,” Rudd noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Miao Wanyi, Bianji)

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