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Xi Jinping Attends the Leaders Summit on Climate and Delivers an Important Speech
2021-04-22

On the evening of April 22, 2021, upon the invitation of the U.S. President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping attended the Leaders Summit on Climate in Beijing via video link and delivered an important speech named "For Man and Nature: Building a Community of Life Together".

Xi Jinping pointed out that climate change has posed severe challenges to human survival and development. Faced with unprecedented challenges in global environmental governance, the international community needs to come up with unprecedented ambition and action, discuss ways to tackle this challenge, and find a path forward for man and Nature to live in harmony. We need to act with a sense of responsibility and unity, and work together to foster a community of life for man and Nature.

First, we must be committed to harmony between man and Nature. We must treat Nature as our root, respect it, protect it, and follow its laws. We should protect Nature and preserve the environment like we protect our eyes, and endeavor to foster a new relationship where man and Nature can both prosper and live in harmony.

Second, we must be committed to green development. To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to improve the environment is to boost productivity. We must abandon development models that harm or undermine the environment, and must say no to shortsighted approaches of going after near-term development gains at the expense of the environment. We must upgrade our economic, energy and industrial structures, and make sure that a sound environment is there to buttress sustainable economic and social development worldwide.

Third, we must be committed to systemic governance. Mountains, rivers, forests as well as farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts all make indivisible parts of the ecosystem. We need to follow the innate laws of the ecosystem and properly balance all elements and aspects of Nature. This is a way that may take us where we want to be, an ecosystem in sound circulation and overall balance.

Fourth, we must be committed to a people-centered approach. We need to look for ways to protect the environment, grow the economy, create jobs and remove poverty all at the same time, so as to deliver social equity and justice in the course of green transition and increase people's sense of benefit, happiness and security.

Fifth, we must be committed to multilateralism. We need to work on the basis of international law, follow the principle of equity and justice, and focus on effective actions. We need to uphold the UN-centered international system, comply with the objectives and principles laid out in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement. China welcomes the United States' return to the multilateral climate governance process, and looks forward to working with the international community including the United States to jointly advance global environmental governance.

Sixth, we must be committed to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We need to give full recognition to developing countries' contribution to climate action and accommodate their particular difficulties and concerns. Developed countries need to increase climate ambition and action, and at the same time help developing countries and support them in financing, technology, and capacity building.

Xi Jinping stressed that ecological advancement and conservation have been written into China's overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics. China will continue to prioritize ecological conservation and pursue a green and low-carbon path to development. China made the official announcement that it will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This major strategic decision is made based on our sense of responsibility to build a community with a shared future for mankind and our own need to secure sustainable development. That requires extraordinarily hard efforts from China. We are now making an action plan and are already taking strong nationwide actions toward carbon peak. Support is being given to peaking pioneers from localities, sectors and companies. China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, and strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period.

Xi Jinping pointed out that as a participant, contributor and trailblazer in global ecological conservation, China is firmly committed to putting multilateralism into action and promoting a fair and equitable system of global environmental governance for win-win cooperation. China will host COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity this October and looks forward to working with all parties to enhance global governance on biodiversity. China has helped developing countries build capacity against climate change through various forms of results-oriented South-South cooperation. China has also made ecological cooperation a key part of Belt and Road cooperation, to bring enduring benefits to the people of all Belt and Road partner countries.

Xi Jinping pointed out that climate change poses pressing, formidable and long-term challenges to us all. Yet I am confident that as long as we unite in our purposes and efforts and work together, we will rise above the global climate and environment challenges and leave a clean and beautiful world to future generations.

The participating leaders said that climate change is a serious challenge faced by the international community and it requires concerted efforts at a global level. All countries should take prompt actions, further increase efforts to reduce emissions, enhance technological innovation, vigorously develop clean energy, and create more job opportunities and a larger space of growth, in order to realize green and more sustainable development, protect our common planet, and live in harmony with Nature for the benefit of future generations. They wish the COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Kunming a complete success. More attention needs to be paid to vulnerable countries and groups. Developed countries need to provide more funding and technological support for developing countries to help them cope with and adapt to climate change.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others attended the event.

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