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Summary Speech at the Closing Ceremony of the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Phase of CCICED(Xie Zhenhua)


  Respected Chairman Zeng, Vice Chairs, Council Members, experts, and all guests,

  The 2nd meeting of the 3rd Phase of CCICED is coming to a close. The meeting had in-depth deliberations on the theme "building a well-off society and adopting a sustainable industrialization mode", and made many valuable recommendations to the Chinese Government. Yesterday morning, Premier Wen Jiabao met with Council Members and experts, listened to the Council's recommendations to the Chinese Government, and praised the positive role played by the Council. Today, Vice Premier Zeng gave an important speech with respect to the work of the Council and this meeting. Now, please allow me to give a brief summary of the meeting.

  The meeting first examined and approved the membership changes for the Council and Task Forces. Some of the Council's members and experts will no longer be able to serve the Council directly due to change of their positions in the organizations they represent, but we would like to give our sincere thanks to them for the work and wisdom that they have contributed to the Council. We are also pleased to welcome new Council Members and Task Force experts to join us. We are privileged to have Vice Premier Zeng as our Chairman. Vice Premier Zeng has been a national-level leader in charge of macro economic issues for a long time, and has always been concerned with environmental protection and sustainable development. He is a great leader with tremendous amount of experience. We are confident that, under his leadership, the Council will play a greater role in promoting China's sustainable development.

  The meeting invited Mr. Mr. Borge Brende, Chairman of UN Council for Sustainable Development, to give a keynote speech. He introduced to us the global situation on environment and sustainable development, and hoped that the governments of all countries would be politically willed and determined to promote sustainable development. He affirmed China's strategy to adopt a new industrialization mode and build a well-off society. Mr. Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, gave a special speech to the meeting. He stressed the importance of establishing sustainable production and consumption patterns, because they are a prerequisite for both economic development and environmental protection. At the meeting, Zhejiang Provincial Government and Anshan Iron and Steel Company introduced their efforts in building an ecological province and reforming an old industrial enterprise based on principles of recycling economy. The Ministry of Health briefed the meeting on the lessons they learned in the battle against the SARS and future countermeasures. The BASF Ltd. of Germany gave a presentation on energy conservation and environmental protection. These presentations gave us a better understanding of sustainable development trend in the world and its practices in China.

  The Meeting also listened to the work reports of 5 Task Forces: Enterprises' Development and Environment; Energy Strategies and Technologies; Development of Environmental Protection Industry; Financial Mechanism for Environmental Protection; and, Strategy and Mechanism Study for Promotion of Circular Economy and Cleaner Production in China. The meeting had heated and in-depth discussions of the recommendations by these Task Forces. It was generally felt that the Task Forces proposed valuable policy recommendations based on their research despite of their short period of existence. Some constructive comments were made by the Council Members during the discussions. The recommendations were still being discussed by the meeting just a moment ago. The Core Experts and the Secretariat will summarize these recommendations and present them formally to the State Council. But here, I would like to give a preliminary summary of these recommendations:

  1) It is the right direction for China to pursue a well-off society by transforming its development mode and adopting a new industrialization mode characterized by high technology, economic efficiency, low resource consumption, low environmental pollution, and full use of human resources. Recycling economy, which is based on effective resource utilization and environmental protection, embodies the requirement of the new industrialization mode and should be actively promoted and implemented on a step-by-step basis. China has great potential for raising the efficiency of resources such as coal, land and water; urgent efforts should be devoted to taping such potential.

  2) Participation of small and medium enterprises in the new industrialization process should be widely encouraged. Economic, legal, and administrative instruments should be integrated. Market mechanism should be used to phase out enterprises that are not competitive on the market but cause heavy pollution. Industrial structural adjustment should be promoted.

  3) High attention should be paid to research on energy development strategies. In light of the Chinese situation, it is recommended that modernized use of coal focusing on coal/gas co-generation should become an important national energy development strategy. Council members also recommended factors to be considered for such a strategy, such as economic cost, technical feasibility, and environmental protection.

  4) The environmental protection industry market should be fostered and regulated. Localism should be done away with. Technology development and transfer should be encouraged. High attention should be paid to the development of environmental service industry.

  5) The principle of "polluter pays" should be adhered to. Multiple environmental input mechanisms should be established. High attention should be paid to funding channels such as bank credits and loans, and municipal bonds. Environmental financing policies that are conducive to sustainable development objectives should be formulated. Risk fund should be established. A key focus should be the construction of environmental infrastructure and the prevention and control of pollution by small and medium enterprises.

  6) Coordination of cross-sectoral policies should be strengthened. Efforts by different sectors need to be better coordinated in formulating policies and plans and in implementing key projects; and economic, social, and environmental considerations need to be integrated. Government procurement and government investment through fiscal or financial policies should embody the requirements of sustainable development.

  7) Environmental education and training should be promoted. The pace of information modernization should pick up speed, the transparency of information should be improved, public environmental awareness should be promoted, and a public supervision and participation mechanism should be established for environmental protection. Environmental legislation should be improved, and law enforcement should be strengthened. The capacity of local governments, enterprises, and social organizations for sustainable development and environmental management should be promoted.

  During the meeting, Premier Wen Jiabao met with the Council's Members and experts. After hearing the Council's recommendations presented by two Vice-Chairs Thibault and Lonnroth, the Premier affirmed that China will adhere to a scientific development mode that is comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable, will correctly coordinate between development and environment, between the rural and urban development, among the development of various regions, between economic and social development, between human and nature, and between domestic development and opening to the outside world, and realize the goal of building a well-off society. He also thanked the Council for its recommendations, and pointed out that the outstanding work of the Council in its 12 years of existence has made useful contributions to China's sustainable development, and hoped that the Council would continue for long term and do an even better job in the future. I hope the Secretariat will make available the speeches made by Premier Wen yesterday and Vice Premier Zeng today as soon as possible.

  The Bureau Meeting held on Oct. 29 thinks that the theme of the each annual Council Meeting should be in line with the priority areas of the Chinese Government. Given the fact that the Chinese Government is currently formulating the 11th Five-Year Plan, it has been tentatively decided that the theme of the 2004 Council Meeting will be "Coordinating Agriculture, Rural Economy, and the Environment", and the theme of the 2005 Council Meeting will be "Urbanization and Environment". After the meeting, the Secretariat and the Core Experts will propose to the Bureau new Task Forces according to the Instructions made by Vice Premier Zeng today as well as the themes of future meeting.

  Thanks to the joint efforts of all Council Members and experts, the meeting is coming to a successful close. I hope that the Secretariat and the Core Experts will edit the Recommendations by the Council to the Chinese Government as soon as possible, and that various Task Forces will work out their reports based on their research. Both the Council's recommendations and the Task Forces' special reports will be submitted to the State Council. The Task Forces' special reports will also be distributed to relevant Chinese leaders, government departments, and local governments. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and sincerely thank the Task Forces and their experts who have completed their tasks.

  The Bureau Meeting has tentatively decided that next year's Council Meeting will be held in October in Beijing. After the meeting, a field trip to a local place of interest will be arranged so as to give Council Members and experts an opportunity to gain better understanding of China's local situations. I look forward to your active participation. The Secretariat will send out notice six month before the meeting so that you can arrange you calendar in advance.

  If there is any thing in this summary that I forget to mention or is not appropriate, I hope other Vice-Chairs would add or correct.

  The success of the meeting can not be achieved without the meticulous preparatory and organizational work by the Chinese and Canadian staff of the Secretariat and the Core Experts. On behalf of all Council Members and experts, I would like to give sincere thanks to all the Secretariat staff, the Core Experts, and all other working staff.

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