Interview: China's ecological contribution facilitates global environmental reform

(Xinhua) 09:05, April 22, 2022

LOS ANGELES, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's contribution in ecological civilization has enabled the international community to formulate the overarching goal of environmental reform, said Philip Clayton, president of the U.S. Institute for the Postmodern Development of China.

In an interview with Xinhua ahead of Earth Day which falls on Friday, Clayton praised China's leadership in ecological civilization. He said that before the construction of Chinese concept of ecological civilization, Western environmentalism was preoccupied with very specific goals, like reducing the use of pesticides or putting less pollution in rivers.

"Many leading environmentalists, also business and NGO leaders, now acknowledge that ecological civilization provides the goal and vision for all environmental action," he said.

"From this overarching vision, we can 'backcast' in order to begin to find solutions in the present. Then - again relying on a theory of ecological civilization - we can construct a roadmap toward that final outcome," Clayton explained.

"Many of us now explicitly acknowledge the Chinese ecological civilization construction as making this possible for the first time," he noted.

The China-proposed philosophy of ecological civilization, which comprises several principles including ensuring harmonious coexistence between human and nature, has directed the overall development of China, the world's second largest economy, to greener ends.

Clayton said he has been traveling to China for over two decades, consulting with and learning from many of China's great leaders and academic scholars. "Both as a professor, and as the leader of an international NGO inspired by the Chinese notion of ecological civilization, I am deeply aware of Chinese contributions to the international environmental movement."

China's ecological civilization concept has pointed out the greatest threat to human cooperation, he told Xinhua.

"Humans need to recognize that we are a single species with a single shared destiny. Sadly, people tend to focus only on their nation, their culture, their language, or on those people who look and act like they do," he said.

"We would not exist at all without the stable and nurturing life-systems around us. In fact, in one sense we are not separately existing creatures at all. We are, from the bottom up, beings in community," Clayton said.

"The greatest vision for the future of humanity is to affirm that we all belong to a single global community of life," he said. "When we acknowledge our deep interconnection, we become allies on behalf of the community of life." 

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Du Mingming)


Related Stories