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China lauds UN environment pact

(2017-09-20)Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China, which attaches great importance to sustainable development, has incorporated "ecological construction" into its national development strategy.

Wang called on developing countries to fully participate in global environmental governance at a summit to launch the Global Pact for the Environment at United Nations headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

The summit, opened by French President Emmanuel Macron, was based on a French proposal for the global pact, aimed at creating a binding international code of environmental law.

Miroslav Lajcak, president of the United Nations General Assembly for the 72nd session; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, Russia and the US - attended the summit.

Wang affirmed France's key role in international environmental governance. France worked with the international community to reach the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015.

Wang said China supports strengthening dialogue and cooperation to address sustainable development issues, including environmental protection through multilateral platforms. China welcomes and appreciates France's global pact proposal, he said.

"We have held innovation, coordination, green, open and share as our concepts of development; and we have already incorporated ecological environmental construction into the national development strategy," he said.

President Xi Jinping, at a speech at the UN office in Geneva earlier this year, stressed that "ecological construction" will become an important aspect of a shared international future.

Wang said China is willing to participate in global environmental governance, firmly support and implement the Paris Agreement, and contribute its share to advance a fair and reasonable, win-win cooperative multilateral system of international environmental governance.

Wang said China also believes that in the process of promoting governance cooperation, including the Global Pact for the Environment, interests of all parties need to be taken into account.

He suggested that they adhere to four cardinal principles: Firstly, environmental ssues should be discussed within the framework of sustainable development.

The international community should adhere to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", to help developing countries steadily improve the level of environmental governance and sustainable development capacity.

Another principle is "national sovereignty of environmental resources". The fourth principle is insistence on full participation by developing countries.

Guterres said that human beings are all affected by climate change and that the problems could be solved only by a joint effort.

He said that in the coming months there will be a climate change conference in Bonn, Germany; President Macron's climate summit in Paris, and the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

"We urgently need to build on these events with even stronger, more coordinated action to reach our 2030 (sustainable development) targets," he said.

Climate roundtable

At an informal roundtable of heads of state and government on climate change on Tuesday, Wang said all countries should implement what they had promised in Paris and firmly enhance cooperation in solving climate change.

Wang said all parties should enhance actions and measures on climate change and make nationally determined contributions toward achieving the goal.

Developed countries should fulfill their promises, offer financial and technological support, capacity building and other assistance within their abilities to help developing countries.

The international community should combine the action on climate change with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and be well prepared for possible challenges while seeking development.

Wang stated that to solve climate change efficiently and successfully implement sustainable development, energy consumption should emphasize green and low-carbon development as well as sustainable use.

Secondly, there should be a push for the reform of the global structure of energy consumption.

Third, he called for international cooperation and multilateral processes in reforming global energy cooperation and a push to establish a win-win and equitable mechanism on climate change.

Source:China Daily
Date:Sep 21,2017