Xie Zhenhua is Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China
"Honorable Senator and Honorable President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning! Thanks to Lord Deben and GLOBE International for inviting me to join this meeting. Unfortunately, I am unable to make it to DC personally due to my work at home, and would like to express my sincere apologies. To make up for it, I would love to communicate by video and congratulate the opening of the 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit, as well as take this great opportunity to share with you China's policies and actions on addressing climate change.
As a developing country, China is faced with multiple challenges that include economic development, poverty eradication, and climate and environmental protection. Nevertheless, even under the growing threat of severe global climate change, the Chinese government holds a strong sense of responsibility for not only the Chinese people but also people from all over the world, highly committed to exploring a green, circular and low-carbon development path that conforms to China's local context and ensures a win-win situation between economic development and climate protection.
With such an approach, the Chinese government has made climate change response a key national strategy for economic and social development, and launched a series of successful actions at home, which include industrial restructuring, energy saving and efficiency improvement in manufacturing, transportation and building sectors, development of clean energy and circular economy, as well as increase of forest carbon-sink.
According to preliminary statistics, in 2013, China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP went down by 28.5% compared with that of 2005, meaning a cut of 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. So far, China has 268 million kilowatts installed capacity in hydropower, 10 million kilowatts in solar power, and 62.7 million kilowatts in wind power, ranking the first in the world. Moreover, we have increased our forest stock by 1.723 billion cubic meters, exceeding the original targets. Meanwhile, energy conservation and environmental protection as the emerging industries of strategic importance have seen a rapid growth, creating more than 30 million jobs and an output value of 3 trillion RMB.
In November 2012, a decision was made at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China requested to promote sound ecological system development, particularly striving for green, circular and low-carbon development for a beautiful country, and working with the international community for a joint response to global climate change. It clearly indicates that China's new leadership has put ecological progress high on the agenda of the national modernization drive and attached greater importance to climate change.
In the past two years, the emerging haze weather in parts of China highlights that air pollution and climate change might share the same cause, raising a more urgent yet strict claim on combating climate change.
The Chinese government will continue to take climate change response as a critical component of ecological system development and an important factor in improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth, as well as pursuing economic transformation and upgrading.
By 2020, we will continue to take some drastic measures to complete the target of reducing China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40%-50% by 2020 on the basis of the level of 2005.
Firstly, intensify policy planning. We are in the process of diligent preparation and future release of policy planning documents including the National Plan on Climate Change (2013-2020) and the Action Plan on Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction, making more systematic arrangements for pre-2020 climate change efforts.
Secondly, establish a target responsibility system for carbon intensity reduction. We have broken down the target of 17% CO2 emissions reduction per unit of GDP specified in the 12th Five-Year-Plan into key tasks for various regions and organizations across the country, and established a target responsibility system (TRS) to promote the implementation of the goal.
Thirdly, promote low-carbon development piloting and demonstration. So far, we have successfully conducted pilot programs for low carbon provinces and cities in an effort to explore the appropriate models and experiences in regions at different developmental stages.
Fourthly, advance low-carbon urbanization. We are trying to make the concept of sustainable development crosscut the whole process ranging from urban planning, construction, management to operations, exploring an innovative model and path for an intensive, intelligent, green and low-carbon urbanization, so as to give equal importance to economic, social, environmental and climate benefits while seeking successful urban development.
Finally, continue to propel carbon emissions trading pilot programs. Currently, carbon emissions trading pilots have been launched and faring well in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangdong and Shenzhen. We will continue piloting programs based on the accumulated experience, and further study the feasibility of building a national carbon trading market which may play a decisive role in allocating low-carbon development resources.
While implementing the pre-2020 targets, the Chinese government is also advancing the study on the national low-carbon development strategies, preparation of China's low-carbon development roadmap by 2050 and possibility of reaching emission peaks at earliest time.
With that, we are committed to preparing for the national post-2020 action plan to address climate change through consultations and deliberations, in an effort to make a substantial contribution to the global climate response after 2020.
We strongly believe that legislation is of great significance for promoting institutionalization of the national climate change response and for signaling a clear message to the market players. Therefore, Chinese government has always been highly committed to climate legislation.
In light of the Resolution on Addressing Climate Change unveiled by the National People's Congress in 2009 requiring that great efforts should be made to intensify legislation on climate change, the Central Government has initiated and advanced the legislation process substantially, with a preliminary framework taking shape so far. Furthermore, the Chinese competent authorities have also amended some administrative regulations, such as the Interim Measures for the Administration of Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Transactions. Some provincial governments have also initiated explorations into local legislation of climate change response, particularly the seven provinces that have formulated the regulations on emissions trading for the pilot programs.
The 3rd Plenary Session of the CPC Central Committee held in 2013 dictated the roadmap for China's ecological development, calling for legal frameworks to protection environment, an affirmative guidance for climate legislation. Next, China will continue its efforts in legislation research, consultation and preparation, in order to provide a sustained power and guarantee for our great efforts in climate change response.
China attaches great importance to sharing and learning international experience of climate legislation. And Globe International has been actively promoting international climate legislation research and experience exchange, making remarkable achievements in helping countries to develop, improve and implement climate change legislation. China has been carrying out many practical and effective dialogues, research and cooperation with Globe International and other relevant domestic and international organizations. I am personally involved in many activities organized by Global International as well.
Currently, multilateral climate change negotiation is striving towards reaching an international climate agreement by 2015, making arrangement of parties' enhanced action after 2020. Moreover, the UN Secretary-General is going to hold a Climate Summit in September this year, providing political momentum to accelerate multilateral negotiation process. Domestic actions and international cooperation on climate change legislations undertaken by parties is an excellent contribution to multilateral negotiation process.
It's just the time for Globe International to seize the great opportunity to convene the meeting, publish the latest research findings, start the "Climate Legislation Partnership". This event will help the governments, parliaments, businesses, and research institutions to further care about, understand and promote climate legislation in the future.
We hope that Globe International will exert a greater global influence and provide more support for climate legislation in developing countries. And I also wish all dear friends and colleagues here can have a better understanding of China's progress in climate legislation through the events organized by Globe International, and take some time to visit China to experience the local context and our challenges, actions and achievements. I'm also expecting to have further communication with all of you, expand the scope of cooperation and join efforts to address global climate change.
Finally, I wish this conference a complete success. Thank you".