- The Guardian
- Issue #1959
We should protect nature and preserve the environment like we protect our eyes.
China welcomes the United States’ return to the multilateral climate governance process, and looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States, to jointly advance global environmental governance.
China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, and strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period.
Last Month, Chinese President Xi Jinping […] called on the international community to work together to foster a community of life for humanity and nature with “unprecedented ambition and action.”
“Faced with unprecedented challenges in global environmental governance, the international community needs to come up with unprecedented ambition and action,” he said while addressing the Leaders Summit on Climate via video link from Beijing.
Community of life
To build a community of life for man and nature, Xi made a six-pronged proposal, including staying committed to harmony between man and nature, green development, systemic governance, a people-centred approach, multilateralism, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
“We should protect nature and preserve the environment like we protect our eyes,” the Chinese president said, adding that failure to respect nature or follow its laws will only invite its revenge.
Reiterating the idea that “green mountains are gold mountains,” Xi said that protecting the environment is protecting productivity, and improving the environment is boosting productivity. “The truth is as simple as that.”
He also stressed that protecting the ecosystem requires more than a simplistic, palliative approach, calling for following the innate laws of the ecosystem and properly balancing all elements and aspects of nature.
“We need to look for ways to protect the environment, grow the economy, create jobs and remove poverty all at the same time,” he said, adding that the goal is to deliver social equity and justice in the course of green transition.
Join hands, not point fingers
In the journey toward global carbon neutrality, Xi called for strengthening partnerships and cooperation, learning from each other, and making common progress.
“We must join hands, not point fingers at each other; we must maintain continuity, not reverse course easily; and we must honour commitments, not go back on promises,” he said.
China and the United States issued a joint statement a few days ago, vowing to cooperate with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis.
China welcomes the United States’ return to the multilateral climate governance process, and looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States, to jointly advance global environmental governance, Xi said.
Calling the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities “the cornerstone of global climate governance,” he said that developed countries need to increase climate ambition and action and make concrete efforts to help developing countries strengthen their capacity and resilience against climate change.
Xi urged developed countries to support developing countries in financing, technology and capacity building, and refrain from creating green trade barriers.
“The historical responsibility, development stage, and coping capacity of developed and developing countries are different, and that’s why the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should always be followed,” said Xu Huaqing, director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.
China in action
Reiterating China’s goal of striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, Xi said that the period of China’s commitment to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality is much shorter than what might take many developed countries.
“That requires extraordinarily hard efforts from China,” Xi said.
The targets of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality have been added to China’s overall plan for ecological conservation. An action plan toward carbon peaking is being formulated, and China’s national carbon market will also start trading.
“China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, and strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period,” Xi said.
As a participant, contributor and trailblazer in global ecological conservation, China has also been doing its best to help developing countries build capacity against climate change.
A number of green action initiatives have been launched, covering wide-ranging efforts in green infrastructure, green energy, green transport and green finance to bring enduring benefits to the people of all Belt and Road partner countries.
“I am confident that as long as we unite in our purposes and efforts and work together with solidarity and mutual assistance, we will rise above the global climate and environment challenges and leave a clean and beautiful world to future generations,” Xi said.