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Goals and Focus of Sustainable Development(Qu Geping)


  Dear Mr. Chair,

  Ladies and gentlemen,

  Good morning! According to the long-term development goals of China's modernization, China's GDP shall quadruple that of 2000 by 2020, and the per capita GDP shall reach RMB 25,000 (or approximately $3,000). By then, China, a country with 1.4 billion people, will become a medium-level developed country. Its main concern will change from seeking survival and growth to seeking comprehensive economic and social development. The realization of this goal would be a historic leapfrog.

  How to achieve this goal? There are two paths ahead of us. One is to continue the current development mode with the main characteristics of high resource input, low economic benefit and heavy pollution and damage to the environment. If this path is followed, the cost to the environment will be much greater than the economic benefit even if the economy volume is quadrupled. The current environmental situation is very serious, and it is not hard to imagine what the environment will be like if we continue our current development mode. The other path is to stick to sustainable development strategy, transform the economic growth mode and develop circular economy. Fortunately, China has already chosen this path.

  Reviewing the history of human development, we can see that it is very complicated and hard to change development mode. Obstacles and difficulties will also exist for the implementation of the sustainable development strategy, for the transformation of economic growth mode, and for the development of circular economy. Some of these obstacles are from traditional mindsets while some are institutional. Obviously, it is not sufficient to just call for people to transform their minds. The economic institutions must be reformed, and relevant economic policies should be adopted to speed up the transformation process.

  First, we should bring the role of the government, enterprises and the public into full play to gradually formulate a circular economy development mechanism that is guided by the government, driven by the market and participated by the public. The Chinese Government should develop and implement necessary industrial and economic policies as soon as possible. For example, it will develop market access standards for industrial products with high energy and water consumption. To key sectors, it will establish and develop evaluation indication system and auditing system. Environmental tax will be levied on industries and enterprises with high consumption of resources and heavy pollution. In addition, public reporting system will be implemented for key polluting enterprises to regularly report the name of those polluting enterprises. Moreover, extended responsibility system for manufacturers will be established to clearly state the responsibilities and obligations of both manufacturers and sellers in recycling, disposing and reusing wastes. .

  Financial and taxation policies should be focused on the development of circular economy with some encouraging or constraining measures. In assessing the performance of government officials at various levels, the environmental quality and the transformation of economic growth mode within their administration should be added as one of the indicators. This will help government officials at all levels to develop the concept of scientific development and transform their traditional mindset of pursuing GDP growth as their sole objective.

  I am confident that as long as the central government and various levels of local governments adopt active and effective industrial and economic policies and strengthen guidance and supervision, circular economy will be developed gradually. This will not only help China to meet development goals of 2020, but also lay a solid foundation for sustainable development for the next phase.

  That is all for my speech, thank you!

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