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Build Consensus and Implement Actions For a Cooperative and Win-Win Global Climate Governance System

Address by H.E. Zhang Gaoli
Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping and
Vice Premier of the State Council of China
At the UN Climate Summit

New York, 23 September 2014

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Dear Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure to attend the UN Climate Summit as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping of China. The Chinese government appreciates the initiative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of convening the summit and believes that the summit will play a positive role in the process of global cooperation on climate change. China is ready to work with the international community to actively tackle the grave challenge of climate change.

China attaches high importance to addressing climate change. As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, responding to climate change is what China needs to do to achieve sustainable development at home as well as to fulfill its due international obligation as a responsible major country. This is not at others' request but on our own initiative. China was the first among developing countries to formulate and implement a national climate change program. Recently, we adopted the national plan on climate change to make sure we will meet the target of cutting carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level. We are committed to taking proactive steps to promote energy conservation, emissions reduction, low-carbon development and ecological progress. In 2013, carbon intensity in China was down by 28.5 percent from the 2005 level. That was equivalent to a reduction of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Between 2006 and 2013, we made obsolete a huge amount of backward production capacity, including 94.82 million kilowatts in thermal power, 117 million tons in steel, 165 million tons in iron and 857 million tons in cement. According to a World Bank report, China contributed 58 percent of all the energy saved globally between 1991 and 2010. In 2013, the installed renewable power capacity in China accounted for 24 percent of the world total. Compared with 2005, China's installed capacity of hydro, wind and solar power increased by two folds, 60 folds and 280 folds respectively. The forest stock in China grew by 2 billion cubic meters over that of 2005, and China's preserved area of plantation was the largest in the world. China has also adopted the action plan for the prevention and control of air pollution, and it is the first among developing countries to monitor and control the air pollutant PM2.5.

Dear Colleagues,

China, a developing country with 1.3 billion people, faces a daunting task of growing the economy, improving people's lives and protecting the environment. As a responsible major country, China will make greater effort to more effectively address climate change and take on international responsibilities that are commensurate with its national conditions, stage of development and actual capabilities. We will announce post-2020 actions on climate change as soon as we can, which will bring about marked progress in reducing carbon intensity, increasing the share of non-fossil fuels and raising the forest stock, as well as the peaking of total CO2 emissions as early as possible.

China will advance a revolution in energy production and consumption, cap total energy consumption, raise energy efficiency and vigorously develop non-fossil fuels. We will step up efforts against air pollution, promote ecological progress, establish a carbon trading market at a faster pace, intensify technological innovation and raise public awareness of green and low-carbon development. By so doing, China will blaze a path of sustainable development that leads to both economic growth and effective tackling of climate change.

China will work hard to promote South-South cooperation on climate change. I wish to announce here that starting from next year, China will double its annual financial support for the establishment of the South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change. In addition, China will provide six million US dollars to support the UN Secretary-General in advancing South-South cooperation on climate change.

Dear Colleagues,

China firmly supports the 2015 Paris Conference in reaching an agreement as scheduled. To this end, I wish to make a three-point proposal:

First, we need to stick to the UNFCCC framework and follow its principles. The UNFCCC is the legal and institutional foundation for the international cooperation in addressing climate change. The principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities must be upheld in the negotiations and final outcome of the 2015 agreement, and provisions and commitments set out in the UNFCCC must be fully, effectively and continuously implemented.

Second, we need to meet our respective commitments and cement the basis of mutual trust. This is crucial for reaching an agreement in 2015. The negotiation process of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Roadmap has identified the action targets and measures for various parties by 2020. The Chinese people believe that one must be true to his word and resolute in action. All parties need to implement the consensus that has been reached. In particular, developed countries need to intensify emission reduction and fulfill their commitment of annual financial support of 100 billion US dollars and technology transfer to developing countries by 2020.

Third, we need to strengthen actions for the future and increase capabilities for addressing climate change. This is what is urgently required by the fight against climate change. Both developed and developing countries need to follow the path of green and low-carbon development that suits their national conditions, set forth post-2020 actions in light of the actual circumstances, take more forceful measures, and enhance practical cooperation, in order to make new efforts and contribution for addressing climate change.

Responding to climate change is the common cause of mankind. China is ready to enhance communication with other countries, build consensus, shoulder responsibilities and work together to build a cooperative and win-win system for global climate governance, so as to effectively tackle climate change and build a better future for mankind.

Thank you.

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