Country's climate actions can help secure Paris deal

By Fu Jing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, November 3, 2015
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Premier Li Keqiang meets with Mogens Lykketoft, president of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Tuesday in Beijing. Li said China wants to push forward a comprehensive climate change agreement in Paris in December. [Photo/China Daily]

Six years ago, I was covering the unsuccessful United Nations climate summit held in Copenhagen, and I saw first-hand how China's image was tarnished, even though it had been making continual efforts to help achieve a global deal.

As countries have been drumming up their efforts to reach a deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Paris in a few weeks, it is meaningful to take stock of how much better China has prepared itself in the years between the two sets of talks.

In my view, the past six years have seen China develop growing green awareness, improved institutional arrangements, better low-carbon commitments and active participation in cooperation with other countries. With such dramatic changes, China will be in a better position to help promote an agreement in Paris.

Since the late 1970s, when China launched its reform and opening-up policy, until recently, the country's overarching strategy has been "development is the unyielding principle", which resulted in decades-long fast economic growth, but at the cost of severe environmental pollution and wasteful energy consumption.

Since the change in leadership in 2012, the move away from this strategy has been accelerated.

The leadership has been promoting the understanding that ecological civilization and building a beautiful China are an important part of realizing the Chinese dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This has started to guide China's economic activities, and been embodied in the concept of the economic new normal.

To turn concepts into actions, China has been beefing up its efforts to build a legal framework to strengthen its environmental protection. For example, leading officials at various levels are required to accept environment and natural resources auditing when they leave their positions.

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