IIn the run-up to the climate conference in Glasgow, there are suggestions that without real participation and greater contribution from China, neither the conference nor the global response to climate change will go anywhere. The unreported concern is this: will China keep its promises 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 that we mean it.
In China, it 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 overall development plan since the 18th congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012; the other four are economic, political, social and cultural development. This means that the preservation of the environment is written in the guidelines of the ruling party of China.
Last year, my country announced that it will strive to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. These commitments were reiterated last month at the UN general assembly, with the additional announcement that China will not build more coal power. stations abroad. Earlier this month, in the UN Conference on Biodiversity Cop15President Xi called for joint efforts to build a community of all life on Earth and proposed four main policies for the preservation of biological diversity (harmony between man and nature; green transition and global sustainable development; social equity and justice. ; and an equitable international governance system based on international law). As a result of China’s leadership, the Kunming Declaration Kunming Biodiversity Fund has been adopted and established, with China committing an initial capital contribution of 1.5 billion yuan (£ 170 million). This is a testament to the determination and determination of China’s top leader to protect the ecosystem and address climate change.
Anyone familiar with China’s political system knows that once decisions and goals are set by the CCP central committee and the senior leader, they are incorporated into the overall national development program, turned into actionable plans of action, and delivered. faithfully by local governments and competent 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 met its 2020 target ahead of schedule. For him end of last year, the intensity of carbon emissions had been reduced by 48% compared to 2005, and non-fossil fuels accounted for 16% of primary energy consumption.
China is implementing a high-level “1 + N” policy framework, in various sectors of the economy, to manage the journey from peak carbon to carbon neutrality. It has launched an emissions trading system and is building a nuclear power generation system, both of the largest in the world. The planning and construction of large-scale wind and photovoltaic bases in deserts and other uninhabited areas will be accelerated. The first phase of these projects recently started smoothly, with an installed capacity of approximately 100 gigawatts.
We are also doing everything 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 zones in Southeast Asia, to introducing energy-saving light bulbs in small island countries, China’s cooperation with the less developed countries in the world has produced tangible results. China has also launched green action initiatives promoting green infrastructure, energy, transportation and finance under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, 57% of China’s energy investment in BRI partner countries they went to renewable energy projects, up from 38% in 2019. These efforts will continue.
One thing 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, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and supporting policy measures that China voluntarily adopted have not been easy. . Developed countries with a couple of hundred years of industrialization behind them and historic environmental debts should make greater contributions to fight pollution and protect the environment, rather than hold China and other developing countries accountable.
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 a successful conference in Glasgow and promote the full and effective implementation of the agreement. from Paris.
All parties must follow the principles and requirements of the UN 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 driving progress on issues of concern to developing countries, namely adaptation and financing. The principles of equity must be respected: common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities.
Developed countries must meet their obligations and lead the drastic reduction of emissions, a key to achieving global net zero emissions. They should also help developing countries accelerate the green and low-carbon transition by significantly increasing their support through financing, technology and capacity building, and avoid putting up green trade barriers.
Commitments to strengthen international mutual trust must be fulfilled. The long-standing commitment of developed countries to provide $ 100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020 has yet to be fulfilled. All countries must keep their word rather than just lip service.
As countries of global influence, both China and the United Kingdom must contribute more to human progress. There is enormous potential for biodiversity and climate cooperation between the two, including working with the rest of the world to promote political dialogue, coordination and practical cooperation. The people of both countries will benefit. So will all life on Earth.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism