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Speaking notes for ED at the 2nd Meeting of CCICED Phase III

2003-10-31author:Klaus T?pfersource:

  I warmly congratulate the opening of the Second Annual Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

  China has made significant achievements in economic development. It has successfully reduced its population in poverty from 100 million in 1986 to 28.2 million at present. We are especially happy to note China has also made important progress in meeting its environmental challenges. With 1.3 billion people and an official goal to quadruple economic growth by 2020, China's environmental performance will not only determine the well being of its own people, but will have consequences for the whole planet. Sustainable development is the only solution. To develop China into a well-off society and adopt a sustainable industrialization mode - this topic we are going to discuss at this meeting is most important and relevant.

  At the United Nations Millennium Summit held in September 2000 in New York, the United Nations Millennium Declaration was adopted. At the Summit, all the participating UN Member States pledged to achieve by 2015 the eight goals which are called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Among others, Goal 7 is to ensure environmental sustainability. China's goal is in conformity with MDGs.

  The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002 states that the fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. All countries should promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Governments, relevant international organizations, the private sector and all the major groups should establish partnership and play an active role in changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns.

  The United Nations has initiated a series of actions to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Among these is the Global Compact which is relevant to the theme of this meeting. The Global Compact is an international initiative that brings companies together with UN agencies to support nine principles in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the challenges of globalization. Of the nine principles, 3 are related to the environment: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. UNEP is one of the five UN' agencies which are at the core of the GC network.. Today, hundreds of companies from all regions of the world including many companies from China have joined the Global Compact. We appeal to all the enterprises, private or public in China to join this global initiative and implement its principles. It will help China in achieving its goal of a Xiaokang (Chinese meaning "well-off') society and embark on a road of sustainable mode of industrialization.

  Promotion of sustainable consumption and production is a focal area of UNEP's programme. We have a Division of Industry; Technology and Economics in Paris and under it an International Environmental Technology Center in Japan. This Division together with other divisions has devoted a lot of efforts in the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns. Our Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is doing a lot of work in this area in the region.

  UNEP has been promoting Cleaner Production for many years. Cleaner Production is the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products, and services to increase overall efficiency, and reduce risks to humans and the environment. Cleaner production can be applied to the processes used in any industry, to products themselves and to various services provided in society.

  UNEP organized the launching of the International Declaration on Cleaner Production in October 1998. It is a voluntary but public statement of commitment to the strategy and practice of Cleaner Production. The Chinese Government is one of the signatories.

  UNIDO and UNEP have joined forces to help introduce Cleaner Production in developing countries. These two organizations have helped China in establishing its National Cleaner Production Center under the State Environmental Protection Administration and we are continuously supporting the center.

  We believe that cleaner production is the sustainable mode of industrialization. Great efforts should be made in promoting and applying cleaner production.

  UNEP is also organizing activities and projects in China to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. I wish to give you some examples of our recent activities.

  - The Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction from Industry in Asia and the Pacific (GERIAP) project seeks to support Asian businesses to address climate change by becoming more energy efficient, and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and costs. The project is funded by SIDA and implemented by UNEP in Bangkok. It is expected to be launched in China later this year.

  - UNEP is sponsoring together with SEPA, The Government of Hunan Province and China Science and Technology Association an International Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns and Exposition on Green Consumer Products and Services. It will be held in December this year.

  - UNEP has assisted China in the development of the National Biosafety Framework with GEF funding. Now it is implementing a GEF project on the implementation of the National Biosafety Framework. A workshop on the project is going on now in Beijing.

  We are experiencing a process known as globalization. Globalization has increased pressure of human activities on the environment. Since Stockholm Conference in 1972, the world has made great strides in placing the environment on the agenda, but sustainable development remains largely theoretical for the majority of the world's population of more than 6,000 million people. The world environment continues to deteriorate. China has been exploring a sustainable way for its economic development and has made noticeable achievements in environmental protection. China is yet to be on the track of reversing the trend of the loss of environmental resources and degradation of ecosystems. However, China has a historic opportunity to leapfrog traditional polluting technologies and to adopt sustainable production and consumption policies. We have confidence that China will meet its goal.

  Sustainable consumption is also very important. The developed countries should take the lead in adopting sustainable consumption patterns. 20 percent of the population are consuming 50 percent of the world's energy. 1 billion people in the world still do not have enough food, clothes and houses. However the developing countries should also pay attention to this issue especially those countries which are becoming well-off like China. We have seen more and more private cars in the streets of Beijing and other big cities in China which are consuming more energy, creating more traffic jams and more pollution. More public transportation facilities should be developed.

  I have the following recommendations for achieving a sustainable industrial development in China:

  - To adopt cleaner production processes and technologies;

  - To link the industrial development with poverty eradication.

  - To apply more widely and effectively economic instruments and market mechanisms in addition to the administration of the Government;

  - To enforce more vigorously environmental laws and regulations;

  - To improve coordination and cooperation among different sectors;

  - To increase financial input in environmental protection and especially to develop and apply mechanisms which give incentives for the industries and businesses to increase their investment in the protection of the environment.

  - To further raise the awareness of the people including decision makers on the importance of sustainable production and consumption.

  UNEP is China's supporter in achieving its ambitious goal of establishing a well-off society and adopting a sustainable mode of industrialization. We are ready to assist China in achieving its plan.

  I wish the meeting a great success.

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