Remarks at the Major Economies Meeting On Energy Security and Climate Change(07/09/08)


Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan, 9 July 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda,

Dear Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to get together with you at the picturesque lakeside of Toyako and exchange views with you on the issue of climate change.

With the fast growth of the world economy and industrialization in particular, global issues such as energy, the environment and climate change are becoming increasingly acute, posing a challenge to all countries. At the G8 Outreach Session held in Heiligendamm, Germany last year, we had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on climate change. Later, the United Nations Climate Change Conference adopted the Bali Road Map, which is an important milestone in the international endeavor to tackle climate change. Our meeting today represents both a fresh effort made by the international community to tackle climate change and an important move geared to translate the Bali Road Map into action. I hope the meeting will help facilitate exchanges and build consensus so as to inject new vitality into international cooperation on climate change.

Climate change is, in essence, an issue about development and should be addressed in a comprehensive way in the context of sustainable development. International cooperation on climate change should proceed from the need to achieve a sound balance among economic growth, social development and environmental protection. It should put economic growth at its core and take capacity building for sustainable development as its goal. It should focus on conserving energy, optimizing energy mix and strengthening eco-environmental protection, and make full use of technological advances. Cooperation in this way will constantly enhance the capacity of the international community to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

As countries represented at this meeting differ in terms of stage of development, level of scientific and technological development and national conditions, our endeavor to combat climate change should be guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We believe efforts should be made in the following areas:

First, play an exemplary role in fulfilling the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC and its Protocol have established the framework, principles and goals for international cooperation on climate change. They reflect the differences in the level of economic development, historical responsibilities and per capita emissions among countries and set out the efforts that developed and developing countries should make respectively. Developed countries should make earnest efforts to attain the goal of emission reduction defined in the Protocol and take concrete measures to honor their commitments of providing funding and technology transfer to developing countries. Developing countries should adopt policy measures for mitigation and adaptation and make whatever contribution as they can to the fight against climate change in the context of sustainable development.

Second, actively advance international negotiations. This year and the next are crucial to the effort in implementing the Bali Road Map. The Road Map charts the course and sets the timetable for international discussions on a post-2012 international climate change arrangement. The international community should work together to ensure progress in international negotiations on climate change. In this process, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be observed. Developed countries should make explicit commitments to continue to take the lead in emissions reduction. The "dual-track" negotiations should be pushed forward in a balanced way and concluded on schedule, and equal attention should be given to the four aspects of mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol should serve as the main channel for international negotiations and cooperation on climate change, with other initiatives and mechanisms as useful supplements. We should demonstrate the political will and show flexibility to ensure the success of the negotiations.

Third, take the lead in carrying out practical cooperation. Financing and technology are crucial but weak links in cooperation on climate change. There is now a huge funding gap in international cooperation on climate change. We should work to improve the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other existing financing mechanisms and promptly implement the projects under the Adaptation Fund to provide new and additional financial support for developing countries as they endeavor to adapt to climate change. Scientific and technological progress and innovation, as an effective means to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance adaptation capabilities, plays a pace-setting role and buttresses the efforts to tackle climate change. The international community should work to establish effective technology transfer and dissemination mechanisms and realize technology sharing to ensure that developing countries can get affordable technologies that are both climate-friendly and environment-friendly. Given the strong complementarities that our countries have, we are fully capable of taking the lead in carrying out technological cooperation in this regard.

Dear Colleagues,

China is among the countries rather seriously affected by the negative impact of climate change. When looking at China's emissions, it is necessary to take into account the following three factors. First, China is a developing country in the process of industrialization and modernization. It faces imbalances in terms of development between the urban and rural areas, among different regions, and between the economic sector and the social sector, and people's living standard is still not high. China's central task now is to develop the economy and make life better for the people. Second, China's per capita emission is relatively low, and is even lower if calculated in accumulative terms. A significant share of China's total emissions fall in the category of subsistence emissions necessary to meet people's basic needs. Third, as a result of changes in international division of labor and manufacturing relocation, China faces mounting pressure of international transferred emission.

The Chinese Government, with a responsible attitude towards the Chinese people and people of the whole world, takes climate change very seriously. We have made it a strategic task to build a conservation culture and we adhere to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment. We are making efforts to ensure that our industrial structure, growth model and consumption pattern are energy and resource efficient and environment-friendly. We have, in line with our economic and social development plans and sustainable development strategy, formulated China's National Climate Change Program, set up the National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, promulgated a series of laws and regulations and adopted a host of measures to tackle climate change.

We started our efforts by saving energy and cutting emissions. We have taken a series of measures, including conserving energy, improving energy mix, raising energy efficiency and promoting afforestation, and have achieved noticeable results. We have set the clear targets that the year end energy intensity per unit of GDP of 2005 will be reduced by 20% by 2010, total discharge of major pollutants will be cut by 10% and forest coverage will increase to 20% from the 2005 figure of 18.2%. We are firmly committed to meeting these targets.

To adapt to climate change, China has made continued efforts to strengthen adaptation capacities in the fields of agriculture, natural and ecological systems and water resources. We place great importance on disaster prevention and reduction and minimizing the losses caused by disastrous weather conditions and extreme climate events.

Dear Colleagues,

China will, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, actively promote negotiations on the implementation of the Bali Road Map and make greater contribution to international cooperation on climate change. China is ready to work unremittingly with the rest of the international community to achieve harmonious, clean and sustainable development in the world.

Thank you!


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