SCIO press conference on white paper 'China's Green Development in the New Era'

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Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Mr. Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology

Mr. Liu Guohong, vice minister of natural resources

Mr. Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment


Ms. Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Jan. 19, 2023

Xing Huina:

Friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, the SCIO released a white paper titled "China's Green Development in the New Era," and organized this press conference to introduce and interpret its main content.

The white paper fully implements Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and presents a comprehensive picture of China's work to apply the new development philosophy and its major decisions, achievements, and experience in green development since the 18th CPC National Congress. The white paper introduces China's efforts and progress in promoting the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature and its ideas, actions, and contributions regarding actively participating in global environment governance and efforts to respond to climate change.

At around 18,000 Chinese characters, the white paper consists of a preface, a main body, and a conclusion. The main body is divided into seven parts: "Staying Firmly Committed to Green Development," "A Basic Green Territorial Configuration Is in Place," "Adjusting and Improving the Industrial Structure," "Extensive Application of Green Production Methods," "Eco-Friendly Living Becomes the Prevailing Ethos," "Improving the Institutions and Mechanisms for Green Development," and "Building the Earth into a Beautiful Home." The white paper is published in eight languages - Chinese, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese - by the People's Publishing House and the Foreign Languages Press. It is available at Xinhua Bookstores across the country.

To help you gain a full and accurate understanding of the white paper, we have invited Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Mr. Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology; Mr. Liu Guohong, vice minister of natural resources; and Mr. Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment, to brief you on relevant information and then take your questions.

Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Zhao Chenxin for his introduction.

Zhao Chenxin:

Friends from the media, good morning. It's my great pleasure to attend today's press conference and introduce the white paper "China's Green Development in the New Era" together with several leaders of relevant departments.

I've got the white paper and let me show it to you.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has attached great importance to ecological conservation and made a series of major deployments, leading to significant achievements in China's green development. With rich content and clear focus, the white paper "China's Green Development in the New Era" systematically summarizes China's actions and achievements in green development over the past decade, and expounds the country's ideas and experience of green development. 

Ms. Xing introduced the structure of the white paper just now. Here I would like to briefly explain its main content from three perspectives.

First, the white paper elaborates on the underlying philosophy of China's green development in the new era.

The first is applying a people-centered development philosophy. China has taken a sound eco-environment as the most inclusive public benefit, vigorously promoted eco-friendly ways of work and life, and improved the quality of the environment and ecosystems so as to help people feel happier, more satisfied, and more secure.

The second is focusing on sustainable development in China. China has treated lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets and firmly pursued a green and low-carbon path to development to enhance economic, ecological, and social benefits.

The third is applying systems of thinking and a coordinated approach. China has striven to maintain a balance between development and protection, between overall and local interests, and between the present and the future. The country has worked to coordinate industrial restructuring, pollution control, eco-environmental conservation, and climate response. It has endeavored to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, expand green development, and pursue economic growth.

The fourth is working together for global sustainable development. China has upheld the vision of a human community with a shared future, always been a major participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global movement for building an eco-friendly civilization, and contributed its wisdom and strength to global sustainable development.

Second, the white paper systematically summarizes China's actions and achievements in green development in the new era.

The first is a sustained and steady improvement in the eco-environment. During the decade (from 2012 to 2021), 64 million hectares of trees were planted, desertification prevention and control was carried out over 18.53 million hectares of land, and 40 million hectares of land were improved through sowing grass, and more than 800,000 hectares of wetland were added or restored. China has steadily increased areas of forests, grasslands, wetlands, rivers, and lakes, and effectively reversed the trend of desertification. The quality of the environment has significantly improved. The average PM2.5 density of China's cities at the prefecture level and above dropped from 46 micrograms per cubic meter in 2015 to 30 micrograms per cubic meter on 2021. On 87.5% of the days in 2021, people enjoyed a good air quality. In 2021, the proportion of surface water at or above Grade III in the country's five-tier water quality system reached 84.9%. All these were major changes.

The second is a considerable increase in the quality of economic growth. Strategic emerging industries have become a key driver for economic development. The value-added output of high-tech manufacturing in 2021 accounted for 15.1% of that of industries above the designated size, up 5.7 percentage points from 2012. China's green industries are booming. China leads the world in the manufacture of clean energy generation facilities. In 2021, the output value of China's energy conservation and environmental protection industries exceeded 8 trillion yuan. 

The third is the extensive application of green production methods. China has advanced the comprehensive green transformation of the manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors, improved the energy mix, fostered a greener and low-carbon way of transportation, and significantly increased efficient resource utilization. The proportion of clean energy sources in total energy consumption increased from 14.5% in 2012 to 25.5% in 2021, and the proportion of coal decreased from 68.5% to 56% over the same period. China's average annual economic growth of 6.6% has been supported by an average annual growth of 3% in energy consumption, and the per unit GDP energy consumption dropped by 26.4%. China is among the countries with the fastest reduction in energy intensity.

The fourth is the active promotion of eco-friendly living. China has worked to raise public awareness of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and advocated a greener and low-carbon lifestyle, creating a conducive social atmosphere for jointly promoting green development.

The fifth is further improvement in institutions and mechanisms. China has strengthened the rule of law, tightened supervision and management, and improved market-based mechanisms, thus providing a solid guarantee for its green development.

Third, the white paper offers with a large number of facts on China joining hands with the rest of the world to build the Earth into a beautiful home.

The Earth is our one and only home, and a beautiful homeland is the shared aspiration of mankind. China has actively participated in global climate negotiations in a constructive manner, and made historic contributions to the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement. China is also an active participant in the South-South cooperation on climate change. The country endeavors to build a green Belt and Road and carries out extensive green international cooperation. In doing so, China is working with the international community to advance sustainable development worldwide.

China will keep to the path of green development, promote the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and work with other countries to build a cleaner and more beautiful world.

That's my introduction to the key points of the white paper. Now, my colleagues from relevant departments and I are ready to answer your questions. Thank you.

Xing Huina:

Thank you, Mr. Zhao, for your introduction. Now we will open the floor for questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising questions.

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