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Closing Ceremony Speech by Qu Geping


  Mr. Chairman,

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  In the golden autumn of October, the first meeting of the Second Phase of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development is to draw to a conclusion. Autumn is the time for harvest and a season of charms. In this golden time, we in this meeting have achieved what was expected. Over the last three days, the responsible and earnest spirit embraced by all the members has greatly impressed us. I am convinced that t his meeting will yield a positive impact on the advancement of China's environment and development work.

  The recently concluded Fifteenth National Congress of CPC has laid out a stately and magnificent blueprint for its future development of China into the third millennium. China's economy will continue its further development in a sound and rapid and sustainable way. The Fourth National Conference on Environmental Protection convened last year has shown us a wonderful prospect.

  In the past five years, China has been undertaking a quiet evolution. In this evolution, there is neither flying flag, nor resounding horns, nor bustling scenes; nevertheless, this evolution is influencing China's economy and all the aspects of society, as well as impacting the people's production means and living habits. This evolution is holding environmental protection as its banner, characterized with sustainable development - and it is therefore a green evolution.

  I. China's economy is embarking on a transition from the conventional development mode to a sustainable development strategy. In the modernization drive, China is no longer merely seeking economic increase or the expansion of economic volume; it is pursuing the internal integration of volume, quality, speed and effect, and taking environmental protection, resources conservation and population control as the important components. Objective criteria for both development quality and development level have been set, while environmental protection and economic construction have been put onto the track of simultaneous development.

  2. China's industrial enterprises are evolving from conventional backward technologies to cleaner production technologies. Many enterprises have enhanced environmental protection, decreased material and resource consumption, and controlled pollutant discharge throughout all the chains of product design, production technology, sales and recovery. Many enterprises have practiced the ISO -14000 EMS standard, and their products bear eco-labels of environmental protection. Cleaner production technologies have become an important target for enterprises seeking technological innovation.

  3. The development of a legal and legislative framework in China has strengthened the role of environmental protection.

  In a short period of five years, the National People's Congress of China has consecutively promulgated and revised six environmental and resources laws; together with the existing laws this amounts to a comprehensive environmental and resources legislative body of fifteen laws.

  In the last five years, the National People's Congress undertook a all-round inspection aiming at the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Law in 30 Provinces and Municipal Cities directly under the State Council and the Autonomous Regions. It seized upon many cases breaching the law and greatly facilitated the implementation of Environmental Protection law.

  4. China has also launched the major efforts to combat pollution.

  With respect to the water pollution, emphasis has been laid on the treatment of the Haihe River, the Liaohe River, and the Haihe River along with Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake, and Dianchi Lake.

  With respect to the atmospheric pollution control, the emphasis has been placed on the treatment of fumes and dusts, and on the prevention of acid-rain pollution. To attain these targets, more than 60,000 small and medium enterprises and plants have been shut down, scores of city water treatment plants have started construction, and large amounts of money have been invested. For an underdeveloped country such as China, entertaining and maintaining such stern resolve, devoting so much volume of manpower and material into the treatment of pollution is unprecedented.

  5. Eco-products have been favorably received on the market in China. During the last five years, the public environmental awareness has been further raised, and the people's enthusiasm for environmental protection has been increased. In choosing commodities, they are more concerned about the eco-products and the non-CF C refrigerators; eco-foods are also very popular on the market. The public's will for green consumption is now forcing the 'greening' of China's huge consumer market.

  All the above-mentioned are only a part of our evolution, which portends that the cause of environmental protection in China is reaching out to a new era. In looking forward to the prospect of the 21st century, we have reason to believe that the dream of China becoming economically prosperous and environmentally beautiful and magnificent will materialise. Let's join hand in hand, and continue to exert efforts for the attainment of this goal at an early date.

  Thank you.

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