China's efforts inject vitality into South-South Co-op: UNEP

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China has made great efforts in enhancing the South-South cooperation which has injected new vitality into cooperation of this kind, a senior UN official said.

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview in Peru on Thursday that the investment and experience China has offered to developing countries through the South-South cooperation is of great importance.

He added that "UNEP and China today are seriously involved in South-South and triangular cooperation projects, which allow us to bring together the best expertise and thereby particularly allow South-South cooperation take a much higher priority."

"We also find out that the South-South cooperation allowed UNEP and other UN entities to bring the best of our expertise and network together, accelerated the speed of transition of knowledge and technology," said the official.

Steiner noted that as China seeks to move forward in developing its own low carbon economy and embarking on the green path, while the UNEP asked by many countries to assist in developing green economy, together "we have a lot to offer, especially expertise, technology support and policy advice."

Steiner was impressed by the drive and vitality Chinese companies and entrepreneurs have brought to the UN climate change conference held in Lima, Peru, especially through a forum discussing green and low carbon development at China Pavilion on Wednesday.

"Today, China's role through the production of renewable energy technology has not only been fundamental to China's efforts in moving forward clean energy solutions, but also provided the global market with an access to the technology at a much lower cost. In Africa, China's companies and entrepreneurs can positively engage in and enable African economies to invest in renewable energy," said Steiner.

The UNEP executive director said that the UNEP and China have enjoyed a very long period of close cooperation, which was initially focused on very particular technical class, but over time, they have developed partnerships with Chinese colleges and universities.

For example, in cooperation with Tongji University, China and UNEP established the Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development, which serves as a platform for Chinese professionals and students to develop their skills and capacities, and meanwhile UNEP brings students from all over the world to China.

Steiner also pointed out that another initiative is the International Ecosystem Management Partnership together with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which not only has allowed them to tap the expertise of Chinese professionals in ecosystem management, particularly ecosystem adaptation, but also provided a platform for South-South cooperation.

Moreover, with a lighting test center in Beijing, the UNEP has established a global efficiency center for lighting. The lighting system has helped more than 56 countries phase out incandescent lamps and introduce efficient lighting.

The Adaptation Gap Report that UNEP released last week outlined in details the drastic costs of adapting to climate change being faced by developing countries. The report revealed that climate change has particular implications on least developed countries, whose financial resources for investing in development will need to be redeployed to financing adaptation measures.

Steiner said that the international community needs to recognize that in negotiating a climate agreement, many countries, virtually all countries, have to expand a great deal of development finance in coping with climate consequences.

As countries plan their development and budget in future's spending, they need to make adaptation agenda part of the regular planning process, otherwise it will be unfinancable and unfundable, he said.

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