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Chinese renewable energy advocate wins international prize

By Zheng Xin in Abu Dhabi | | Updated: 2017-01-16 21:51

The head of China's leading climate change body has been recognized for his key role in driving the renewable energy industry.

Li Junfeng, director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation was awarded the lifetime achievement Zayed World Future Energy Prize in the United Arab Emirates.

The $50,000 prize was presented to Li in recognition of his role in raising environmental awareness in China and promoting renewable energy, green and clean technology across all industries in the country and beyond for more than three decades.

Li drafted many key documents in China, including the Renewable Energy Law, which was passed in 2005, and facilitated the country's boom in renewable energy development, the committee noted.

Via a video presentation, Li said he planned to continue efforts to increase the share of green energy globally.

He joined the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission as a senior research fellow in 1982, where his research focused on climate, energy, the economy and policy.

He then spent two years as an economist at the World Bank in Washington before returning as deputy director of the commission in 1994, and was later promoted director general.

The prize recognizes those who dedicate themselves to promoting new energy, reducing reliance on coal and strengthening renewable power targets.

"In this new era, renewable energies and hydrocarbons enjoy a truly symbiotic relationship," Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, said.

"While some may see the world divided between new and traditional, we believe that both sectors must work hand in hand."

Dr Al Jaber, who is also head of renewable energy company Masdar, was speaking at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi's Sustainability Week on Monday.

Hosted by Masdar, the week's events include the World Future Energy Summit, the International Water Summit, and the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy.

The Zayed World Future Energy Prize is named after the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the founder and first president of the UAE.

The other four categories of the award, which has been issued annually since 2009, recognize large corporations, small and medium enterprises, non-profit organizations, and global high schools.

In 2014, the founder and president of BYD Company Ltd. Chuanfu Wang was presented with the World Future Energy Prize lifetime achievement award.

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