China will honor its climate commitments – look at the changes we have already made

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isn the preparations for the climate conference in Glasgow, some suggest that without real participation and greater contribution from China, neither the conference nor the global response to climate change will succeed. The unrequited concern is: will China honor its commitments to cut emissions?

This anxiety is unnecessary. Anyone who knows China well is sure that my country is serious about reducing carbon emissions and pursuing green development, and we mean what we say.

In China, there is already a national consensus that “lucid waters and lush mountains are mountains of gold and silver” – an idea proposed by our president, Xi Jinping. Ecological conservation has been one of the “five pillars” of the country’s comprehensive development plan since the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the other four being economic, political, social and cultural development. This means that the preservation of the environment is enshrined in the guidelines of the ruling party in China.

Last year my country announced that it would strive to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. These commitments were reiterated last month at the assembly General Assembly, with the additional announcement that China will no longer build coal-fired electricity. stations abroad. Earlier this month, at the UN’s Cop15 biodiversity conference, President Xi called for joint efforts to build a lifelong community on Earth and proposed four major policies for preserving diversity biological (harmony between man and nature, green transition and global sustainable development). development; social equity and justice; and a fair and equitable system of international governance based on international law). Thanks to China’s leadership, the Kunming Declaration was adopted and the Kunming Biodiversity Fund established, with China pledging an initial contribution of 1.5 billion yuan (£ 170 million) . It is a testament to the determination and determination of China’s top leader to protect the ecosystem and fight climate change.

Anyone who knows the Chinese political system knows that once decisions and goals are set by the CPC Central Committee and the top leader, they are integrated into the overall national development agenda, turned into workable and faithfully action plans. implemented by local governments and relevant departments. This is how the country has achieved its miracle of development in the 72 years since the founding of the People’s Republic.

In terms of climate action, China has reached its 2020 target earlier than expected. By the end of last year, carbon intensity had fallen 48% from 2005, and non-fossil fuels accounted for 16% of primary energy use.

China is putting in place a high-level “1 + N” policy framework in a number of sectors of the economy to manage the transition from peak carbon to carbon neutrality. It started an emissions trading system and built a nuclear power generation system, both of which are the largest in the world. The planning and construction of large-scale wind and photovoltaic bases will be accelerated in deserts and other uninhabited areas. The first phase of these projects has recently started smoothly, with an installed capacity of around 100 gigawatts.

We are also doing what we can to help build climate response capacities in developing countries. From supporting Africa in monitoring the climate system with satellite technology and building low carbon pilot areas in Southeast Asia, to introducing energy saving light bulbs in small countries islanders, China’s cooperation with less developed regions of the world has produced tangible results. China has also launched green action initiatives that promote green infrastructure, energy, transport and finance under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, 57% of China’s energy investments in BRI partner countries went to renewable energy projects, up from 38% in 2019. These efforts will continue.

Something the international community should recognize is that, for a developing country with a population of over 1.4 billion that has not completed industrialization or urbanization, nationally determined contributions ( CDN) and the supportive political measures that China has voluntarily adopted have not been easy. Developed countries with a few hundred years of industrialization behind them and historic environmental debts should do more to fight pollution and protect the environment, instead of blaming China and others. developing countries.

China and the United Kingdom should work together to implement the important understanding between the leaders of the two countries, in order to strengthen the synergy between Cop15 and Cop26, contribute to the success of the conference in Glasgow and promote the implementation full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

All parties must follow the principles and requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and aim to complete the negotiations of the Paris Regulation (market mechanisms in Article 6 in particular) and advance issues of concern to developing countries, namely adaptation and finance. The principles of equity – common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities – must be respected.

Developed countries must live up to their obligations and take the lead in drastically reducing emissions – a key to achieving net zero emissions globally. They should also help developing countries accelerate the green and low-carbon transition by providing them with increased support through finance, technology and capacity building, and avoid erecting green trade barriers.

Commitments must be honored in order to strengthen international mutual trust. The long-standing commitment by developed countries to provide $ 100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020 has yet to be fulfilled. All countries need to keep their word rather than just pretending.

As countries of global influence, China and the UK must do more to contribute to human progress. There is enormous potential for cooperation on biodiversity and climate between the two, including working with the rest of the world to promote political dialogue, coordination and practical cooperation. The people of both countries have everything to gain. It will be the same with all life on Earth.

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