Chinese Premier Promises Increased Efforts in Response to Climate Change

At the meeting of the National Leading Group on Climate Change, Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stresses the importance to upgrade development level, raise quality and increase efforts in response to climate change.

On 12 June, Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Premier of the State Council and head of the National Leading Group on Climate Change, Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction, presided over a meeting of the National Leading Group on Climate Change, Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction. The meeting discussed a document regarding intended nationally determined contributions to be submitted by China to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Premier Li made important remarks at the meeting.

Zhang Gaoli, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, attended the meeting.

Premier Li said that to tackle climate change is a common task for the international community. Efforts in this regard also meet the need for scientific development in China. The Chinese government takes climate change very seriously, and gives priority to green, low-carbon and circular economic development in promoting ecological progress. The host of measures taken to combat climate change has produced positive results. In 2014, China’s energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP dropped by 29.9% and 33.8% over 2005. The binding targets on energy conservation and emissions reduction set in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan could well be achieved as scheduled. China is now the world’s number one in terms of energy conservation and development of new and renewable energy, thus making a concrete contribution to the global response to climate change.

Premier Li pointed out that to actively cope with climate change meets the need to ensure economic, energy, ecological and food security for China as well as the safety of life and property for its people. Active response to climate change is essential to China’s sustainable development, and will better enable the country to engage in global governance, promote common development and fulfill its responsibility to build, together with other countries, a community of shared destiny. As a major responsible country, China is willing to undertake international obligations commensurate with its national conditions, development stage and real capacity. China will act in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the principles of equity and of respective capabilities. China has set the target to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emission around 2030 and will work hard to realize it at an earlier date. For that purpose, it will take further measures to conserve energy and reduce emissions. It will substantially cut carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP, increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption and raise forest stock. China will continue to build capacity in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and will do whatever it can to facilitate global green and low-carbon transformation. China hopes to see new ways being open to facilitate green and low-carbon development.

Premier Li observed that for China, a developing country, development counts more than other things. To meet the multiple challenges from downward pressure on the economy to mitigating climate change, it is essential to carry out structural adjustment and upgrade development level. Priority must be given to growing the economy and at the same time improving the environment. It is important that China continues to pursue resource conservation and environment protection as a basic state policy. China needs to vigorously implement the national strategy on climate change and formulate a long-term road map for low-carbon development. For that to happen, China will deepen reform and promote innovation. The government will encourage nationwide entrepreneurship and innovation to deliver new technologies, products and models and fuel the growth of energy-saving and environmental-friendly industries. A tough limit will be imposed on the expansion of heavily polluting and energy intensive industries to bring about a low-carbon and energy-saving industrial system. At the same time, new growth drivers will be cultivated to help realize healthy economic development. By introducing the “Made in China 2025” strategy and the “Internet Plus” action plan, traditional industries will be upgraded and people’s way of life will become smarter and greener. The government will scale up input in public products and infrastructure for ecological protection. New mechanisms of financing and investment cooperation, such as the Public-Private-Partnership, will be instituted. While conducting international cooperation on production capacity, more global standards will be adopted for green and low-carbon growth to move the level of China’s industrial development to the medium- to high- end.

Premier Li pointed out that China is committed to full, effective and sustainable implementation of the UNFCCC, and that China stands ready to work with all other parties to ensure a comprehensive, balanced and strong agreement at the upcoming Paris Conference. China will actively engage in bilateral and multilateral international consultations and will, in particular, make efforts to expand South-South cooperation on climate change. A South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change will be set up, and assistance of capital, technology and capacity building, all within China’s capability, will be given to developing countries, including small island developing countries, least developed countries and countries in Africa. China will work with other countries to foster a global climate governance system that is fair, reasonable and focused on win-win cooperation. The purpose is to build a better home for all countries in the world.





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