Build a Win-Win, Equitable and Balanced Governance Mechanism on Climate Change*
November 30, 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we are gathering here in Paris for the opening ceremony of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Our presence shows that terrorism cannot hold back mankind's efforts to address climate change and to pursue a better future. Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere sympathy to the French people1 and my gratitude to President Hollande and the French government for their meticulous preparations for this conference.
Thanks to the joint effort by all parties since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force over 20 years ago, global actions on climate change have made progress, although there are still numerous difficulties and challenges. This Paris Conference is hence convened to strengthen implementation of the UNFCCC and produce a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and binding agreement on climate change. The conference is also expected to come up with equitable, reasonable, and effective global solutions to climate change, and explore pathways and governance models for mankind to achieve sustainable development. The French writer Victor Hugo observed in Les Miserables that "Supreme resources spring from extreme resolutions." ("Les ressources suprêmes sortent des résolutions extrêmes.") I believe that with all parties making joint efforts with sincerity and confidence, the Paris Conference will yield satisfying results and meet the high expectations of the international community.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A successful international agreement should not simply address immediate challenges; more importantly, it should also present a vision for the future. The Paris agreement should focus on strengthening post-2020 global actions on climate change and boost global efforts to pursue sustainable development.
– The Paris agreement should help meet the goals of the UNFCCC and chart the course for green development. The agreement should follow the principles and rules set out in the UNFCCC and contribute to its full and effective implementation. The agreement should place effective controls on the increase in atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, and set up incentive mechanisms to encourage countries to pursue green, circular and low-carbon development so as to achieve economic growth and effectively respond to climate change at the same time.
– The Paris agreement should help galvanize global efforts and encourage broad participation. The agreement should provide institutional arrangements to encourage countries to make concerted efforts. In addition to governments, it should also mobilize all sectors in society, including businesses and non-governmental organizations, to participate in international cooperation in climate change, thus raising public awareness of climate change and pooling resources for the effort to address the issue.
– The Paris agreement should help increase input of resources to ensure actions on climate change. To obtain financial and technical support for capacity building is essential for developing countries to address climate change. Developed countries should honor their commitment of mobilizing US$100 billion every year from now until 2020 and provide stronger financial support to developing countries afterwards. It is also important that climate-friendly technologies should be transferred to developing countries to help them build green economies.
– The Paris agreement should accommodate the national conditions in various countries and lay emphasis on practical results. It is imperative to respect differences among countries, especially developing countries, in domestic policies, capacity building, and economic structure. A one-size-fits-all approach must be avoided. Addressing climate change should not deny the legitimate needs of developing countries to reduce poverty and improve their people's living standards. The particular needs of developing countries must be given due attention.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Paris agreement is not the finishing line, but rather a new starting point. Global efforts on climate change, an important element of global governance, can serve as a mirror for us to reflect on the best model for future global governance, and on ways to build a community of shared future for mankind. Much valuable inspiration can be drawn therefrom.
– We should create a future of win-win cooperation, with every country making its contribution to the best of its ability. For global issues like climate change, a utilitarianism-oriented, take-more-giveless approach is in nobody's interest. The Paris Conference should reject the narrow-minded mentality of zero-sum game and call on all countries, the developed countries in particular, to assume a greater share of responsibilities for win-win outcomes.
– We should create a future of the rule of law, fairness, and justice. It is imperative to enhance the standing and role of international law in global governance, ensure effective observance and implementation of international rules, uphold democracy, equality, and justice, and build international rule of law. There are enormous gaps between developed and developing countries in historical responsibility for current problems, in the stage of development they have reached, and in their ability to respond to climate change. Therefore the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is all the more important now, and it must continue to be respected.
– We should create a future of inclusiveness, mutual learning, and common development. Facing global challenges, countries need to increase dialogue and, share and learn best practices. We should draw on each other's strengths to achieve common development through mutual learning, and for the benefit of all our people. At the same time, we should allow individual countries to seek their own solutions that best suit their respective national conditions in the spirit of seeking harmony without uniformity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China has been actively engaged in the global campaign on climate change. China is both sincere and determined to contribute its share to the success of the Paris Conference.
In the past few decades, China has seen rapid economic growth and significant improvement in the living standards of its people. However, this has taken a toll on the environment and resources. Having learned the lesson, China is making vigorous ecological endeavors to promote green, circular and low-carbon growth. We have integrated our climate change efforts into the country's medium- and long-term program of economic and social development. We attach equal importance to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and try to make progress on all fronts by applying legal and administrative means, technology, and market forces. China's installed capacity of renewable energy accounts for 24 percent of the world's total, with newly installed capacity accounting for 42 percent of the global total. China tops the world in terms of energy conservation and utilization of new and renewable energies.
"All things live in harmony and grow with nourishment."2 Chinese culture values harmony between man and nature and respects nature. Going forward, ecological endeavors will feature prominently in China's 13th Five-year Plan for Economic and Social Development. China will work hard to implement the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and inclusive development. On the basis of technological and institutional innovation, China will adopt new policies and measures to improve the mix of its industries, build a low-carbon energy system, develop green buildings and low-carbon transportation, and build a nationwide carbon emission trading market so as to foster a new pattern of modernization featuring harmony between man and nature. In its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, China pledges to peak CO2 emissions by around 2030 and strive to achieve this sooner if possible, and by 2030, to reduce CO2 per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent over the 2005 level, to raise the contribution of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to about 20 percent, and to increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters compared with 2005. This will require strenuous efforts, but we have the confidence and the resolve to fulfill our commitments.
China stands for upholding the greater good and pursuing shared interest, and takes an active part in international cooperation in climate change. Over the years, the Chinese government has earnestly fulfilled its policy commitments in terms of South-South cooperation regarding climate change to support developing countries, especially the leastdeveloped countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states, in confronting the challenge of climate change. In a show of greater support, China announced in September this year the establishment of an RMB20 billion South-South Climate Cooperation Fund. Next year, China will launch cooperation projects for developing countries, including setting up 10 pilot low-carbon industrial parks, starting 100 mitigation and adaptation programs and providing them with 1,000 training opportunities on climate change. China will continue to promote international cooperation in such areas as clean energy, disaster prevention and reduction, ecological protection, climate-smart agriculture, and low-carbon and smart cities. China will also help other developing countries to increase their financing capacity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Tackling climate change is a shared mission for humanity. All eyes are now on Paris. Let us join hands and contribute to the establishment of an equitable and effective global mechanism on climate change, global sustainable development at a higher level, and new international relations based on win-win cooperation.
* Speech at the opening ceremony of the Paris Conference on Climate Change.
1 On November 15, 2015 Paris suffered a terrorist attack at the Bataclan Night Club that killed 130 people. – Tr.
2 Xun Zi.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)