H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming
- 30 April 2014
Liu Xiaoming serves as Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A native of Guangdong Province, Jieyang City, he has twenty years experience in foreign affairs and international diplomacy. Mr. Xiaoming earned a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Foreign Affairs of Tufts University in 1983, after graduating from Dalian University of Foreign Languages in 1974.
At The Climate Group's 10th aniversary event, the Ambassador outlined China's efforts to tackle global warming and stressed the need for international collaboration on climate action.
The text of his full speech can be read below:
Chairman Phil Levermore,
CEO Mark Kenber,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I warmly congratulate the 10th anniversary of the Climate Group.
Over the past ten years the Climate Group has won support from an array of business and political leaders all over the world – including China.
The Climate Group deserves great praise for its focus on finding solutions to climate challenges and its active role in promoting commercialization of low carbon technologies.
All these efforts by the Climate Group have advanced economic growth and prosperity. But, most important of all the Climate Group has made a considerable contribution to tackling the global scourge of climate change.
Today’s celebration is also a seminar on future climate change negotiations. I understand you have had discussions about the newly released IPCC reports. A common view is that the Paris Conference in 2015 should be a milestone in international negotiations on climate change.
Climate change rose to prominence as a core issue of global concern late last century. Since then, China has been committed to addressing the challenge through cooperation with the international community.
China sees climate change as a common challenge facing the entire humanity. There are compelling reasons for all countries to collaborate and make urgent efforts for a resolution of climate change issues.
China believes that historical responsibilities for ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions and the development stages of countries should be taken into consideration.
China also believes that the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities should be followed.
Looking forward to possible solutions China is dedicated to the success of the 2015 climate change negotiations. Our goal is to strengthen full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC beyond 2020.
Last February, China and the United States issued a joint statement on climate change. This reiterated our shared commitment to making important contributions to the global fight against climate change in 2015. Last month Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Europe. During the visit China signed joint statements with the EU, France and Germany. All these documents have paragraphs on climate change cooperation. They stressed that efforts should be made to adopt at the Paris Conference a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all parties. Also underlined was a joint commitment to making significant cuts in ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions through credible and verifiable domestic action.
In advancing climate change negotiations, we must not follow in the steps of ‘Larry the Cat’. I am sure you all heard about the story of ‘Larry the Cat’ who is famous as the ‘Chief Mouser’ of the British Government Cabinet Office. Everyone expected ‘Larry’ to bring down the rat population around Downing Street. Regrettably he has earned a reputation as always remaining in a ‘tactical planning stage’.
Similarly, in fighting against climate change, China would rather like to ‘war-war’ than to ‘jaw-jaw’.
In China we have taken a lot of actions to cut emissions. Many of them are voluntary and unilateral.
China approaches mitigating climate change from two directions:
· First, preventing climate change is a shared responsibility with the world.
· Second, stopping climate change is also an imperative for China’s own sustainable development as well as industrial upgrading.
China is endeavoring to build a ‘beautiful China’ through green development, a circular economy and low carbon development.
This Chinese commitment is not new. In 2009, China had already announced major targets for 2020. These include:
- Reduce CO2 emission by between 40 and 45%.
- Raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy to 15%.
- Increase forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters.
And all these targets are on the basis of 2005 levels.
After just five years, China had achieved these goals:
- Reduced carbon intensity by 28%
- Saved 2.3 billion tons of CO2 emission.
- Now non-fossil fuels already make up 9.6% of our energy mix.
In his report on the work of the government last March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang set out the mandatory target for this year. This is to bring down energy intensity by 3.9% while securing a 7.5% growth of the economy.
The approach in China is a multi-pronged one.
China’s investment in clean energy is the largest in the world. By the end of 2014 China’s solar power capacity will reach 30 million kilowatts. This will be 10 times of 2011. It is estimated that in 2050 China’s clean energy power capacity will amount to 2.48 billion kilowatts. This will account for 62% of China’s total installed capacity and 58% of its total power generation. These goals will mark a historic shift in China’s power generation from the dominance of coal to clean non-fossil energy sources.
China is making an all-out effort to encourage the development of energy conservation and environmental protection sector, also know as the green industry. An important means is to phase out high-emission and energy intensive capacity. Now the green industry in China has employed 30 million people. It is projected that by the next year the total output of green industry will reach 4.5 trillion RMB. This will be a new engine of China’s economic growth.
This year China will wind down major sources of pollution. For example:
- Iron and steel capacity will be reduced by 27 million tons.
- Cement capacity by 42 million tons.
- Plate glass by 35 million TEU.
China’s strategy is to reduce emissions and energy consumption while adding to economic development.
China is also carrying out carbon emissions trading. Pilot programs are operating and they are going faster than expected. In 2013 carbon emission trading was introduced in big cities of China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. This year, China will formulate some new rules and regulations on carbon trading.
Just as the biggest contributor to global poverty reduction, China is well on her way to become the biggest green contributor to global emission reduction. While making domestic emission cuts, we also encourage Chinese companies to go global and contribute their part to emissions cuts worldwide.
Only five days ago, I attended the UK-China Sustainable Energy Summit and witnessed the signing of several MOUs on Chinese investment and building of solar parks in Britain. This further shows that China is committed to working with the UK and the rest of the world to grapple with climate change and look after our Mother Earth.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Climate Group. As a Chinese saying goes, ‘It takes ten years to grow trees, but one hundred years to rear people’. Likewise, it takes time for any organization to grow. And it will only take longer for this organization to accomplish great tasks. I highly appreciate the Climate Group’s positive contribution to the global fight against climate change over the past decade. I expect the Climate Group to compose a new chapter in the next decade and make even greater contribution to safeguarding and improving mankind’s survival and development, which is a great task that will take one hundred years and even longer.