By He Yin
Through a sense of responsibility to human civilization, China calls on countries to commit to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and concrete actions in addressing climate change and has actively promoted the building of a global climate governance system that is fair, rational, cooperative, and beneficial to all, making its due contributions to tackling climate change using its greatest strengths and most effective solutions, according to a white paper released recently by the State Council Information Office of China.
Climate change poses real, severe, and ongoing challenges. Addressing the issue requires broad participation and concerted efforts from around the globe, according to the white paper titled “Responding to Climate Change: China’s Policies and Actions.”
As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is the cornerstone of global climate governance. It is believed that adhering to the principle concerns the future of international response to climate change.
“Developed and developing countries shoulder different historical responsibilities for climate change, and they also have different development needs and capabilities. Therefore, it is unreasonable and unfair to enforce uniform restrictions on them,” the white paper stated.
The international community should fully recognize and accommodate developing nations’ contributions to climate action, as well as their unique challenges and concerns. Meanwhile, affluent countries need to increase climate ambition and action. They should make concrete efforts to help developing countries strengthen their capacity and resilience against climate change and support them in relevant aspects, including financing, technological development, and capacity building.
As a responsible major county, China has introduced a series of strategies, measures, and actions on responding to climate change and actively involved itself in global climate governance.
China has initiated the establishment of multilateral negotiation mechanisms such as the BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change and the Ministerial on Climate Action, and actively coordinated the positions of countries within climate negotiation blocs, including the Like-Minded Developing Countries, playing an essential role in maintaining the unity of developing countries and defending their shared interests, according to the white paper.
Convinced that “It is more important to show people how to fish than just giving them fish,” China has done its best to help other developing countries improve their capacity to tackle climate change. Since 2011, it has accumulatively allocated about 1.2 billion yuan ($187 million) for South-South climate cooperation, signed 40 cooperation documents with 35 countries, and trained approximately 2,000 officials and professionals in the field of climate change for nearly 120 developing countries.
From remote sensing satellites for climate monitoring in Africa to low-carbon demonstration zones in Southeast Asia and energy-efficient lights in small island countries, the South-South climate cooperation has yielded genuine, concrete, and substantial outcomes.
Looking back on the history of mankind’s response to climate change, countries will find that putting their policies and commitments into practice holds the key to achieving practical results in global climate governance.
The Paris Agreement on climate change charts the course for the world to transition to green and low-carbon development and outlines the minimum steps to be taken to protect the Earth.
In implementing the Paris Agreement, countries must maintain continuity and not reverse course easily; and they must honor commitments and not go back on promises.
All countries should actively fulfill the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) they themselves have set and turn their goals into concrete policies, measures, and actions.
China has made a substantial contribution to adopting the Paris Agreement and made active efforts toward implementing it.
China announced that it would peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030, achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, and put forward a package of measures to scale up its NDCs, making every effort to enhance climate actions and positively contributing to the global fight against climate change with a sense of responsibility.
It will take 71 years for the EU, 43 years for the US, and 37 years for Japan to achieve carbon neutrality from carbon peak. However, China has set itself a time limit of only 30 years, which means that the largest developing country in the world will complete the world’s most dramatic reduction in carbon emission intensity, and realize carbon neutrality from carbon peaking in the shortest time in global history.
The country is taking active action and effective measures to make strategic deployment to peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.
China’s climate actions announced by Xi have rekindled genuine hopes for the world, said Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of France, who praised China’s major contributions to implementing the Paris Agreement.
In pushing ahead with the building of a community of life for man and nature, China is willing to unite with other countries in purposes and efforts and work together with solidarity and mutual assistance in a bid to push the implementation of the Paris Agreement steadily forward and contribute to global responses to climate change.