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Climate change cooperation needed in spite of challenges, says envoy

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2022-06-14 01:35
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Technicians carry out maintenance work on turbines at a wind farm in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, in January. [Photo By Yao Feng/For China Daily]

Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate change, has called on nations to maintain the strategic focus on promoting the green transition despite challenges that are jeopardizing some nations' energy security. 

Addressing the opening ceremony on Monday of the annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high-level think tank that supports China's government, he reiterated China's climate commitment, and noted significant progress in honoring it.

"The world is currently experiencing overlapping challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical risk, economic upheaval and energy security," he said. "The economic recovery is slowing down and the global supply chain is suffering constant strain."

Against this backdrop, some nations have been mulling how to address their need to ensure stability and security while maintaining sustainable development in the long term, said Xie, who is also a vice-chairman of the council, which is known as CCICED.

He called for endeavors from countries to attain both short-term and long-term interests and to stay strategically focused on coping with climate change and promoting the low-carbon transition, saying: "This is the general trend for socioeconomic development."

Based on the requirements of its internal sustainable development, and its due responsibility for building a global community of shared future, China, as a responsible major developing nation, has made significant progress in hammering out the policy systems needed for its climate targets, Xie stressed.

China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and realize carbon neutrality before 2060.

In addition to completing the top-level design of the system, he said the country has unveiled implementation plans for 37 industries and sectors in which it specified timetables, roadmaps, policies, measures, and actions for each.

"China is forging ahead with green transition in its energy system in a prudent and orderly manner," he said.

Xie said the COP26 United Nations climate change conference held in Glasgow, the United Kingdom late last year sent out a clear message that, amid the crisis of climate change – a common challenge for all nations – the world needs to jointly promote the global climate change process with focuses on concrete actions, innovation, and cooperation.

"China has been proactively carrying out dialogues and pragmatic cooperation with various nations in its endeavor to promote progress in global climate governance," he said, citing the China-US Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s and the China-US Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis, both of which unveiled last year, as examples.

"We live on the same Earth, and we only have one Earth," Xie said. "We believe, as long as the international community works together adhering to multilateralism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the world will surely turn crisis into opportunities and successfully safeguard the planet we call home and the wellbeing of our future generations."

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