NewsYou are here:Home > Events > Annual Meetings > 2006 > News

Speech at the Opening Ceremony (Zeng Peiyan)


  Members and Guests, Ladies, gentlemen and friends,

  Good afternoon!

  I am very happy to meet you again in Beijing and discuss with you major issues on environment and development of China. This morning, Premier Wen Jiabao met with international representatives attending 2006 annual general meeting (AGM), listened to their comments and recommendations, gave positive comments on CCICED work and presented new requirements for future cooperation. This AGM is the last annual general meeting of CCICED Phrase III and will discuss the theme of "Outlook on scientific development and the Xiaokang Society" which is of great significance. Here, on behalf of the Chinese Government, I extend my warm welcome to all participants and heartfelt thanks to you for your attention and support to the cause of environment and development of China!

  Over the past few years, China has experienced accelerated industrialization and urbanization process. The upgrading of consumption has promoted industrial restructuring. Under the joint functioning of market mechanism and macro regulation, China's economy has kept a steady development momentum. According to estimate, GDP will grow by over 10% with price rising within 2% in the year of 2006. At the same time, China has enjoyed evident increase of job opportunities, accelerated social development and continuous rising of living standard. In the field of environmental protection, the strategy on sustainable development has been implemented with increasing efforts in pollution control and ecological development. As a result, the overall environmental quality basically keeps stable with certain improvements in some regions and cities.

  Meanwhile, we clearly understand that rapid economic development leads to huge price in terms of resource and environment. Extensive growth mode has not been reversed with huge consumption of energy and mineral resources, the environmental situation in China is still very grave. The environmental problems that occurred in developed countries during 100 years of industrialization process have concentrated in China. The total emission of major pollutants of many regions has exceeded environmental carrying capacity with occasional pollution accidents. For example, the Songhua River major water pollution accident in late November last year and the lead poisoning event in Hui County of Gansu Province not long ago caused relatively big damages to the production and life of local residents. In the first 6 months this year, energy consumption per unit GDP of China went up by 0.8% but decreased in the third quarter. However, the energy reduction target put forward at the beginning of this year is still hard to achieve. The total discharge amount of major pollutants is on the rise. The release of COD and SO2 increased by 3.7% and 4.2% respectively in the first half of the year. All these indicate that resource and environment have imposed serious restrictions on economic and social development, which must be addressed by effective measures.

  The Fourth Meeting of the 10th National People's Congress held in March approved the Outline of the 11th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development that presents clear requirements for the implementation of the outlook on scientific development and acceleration of the development of a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society. The Sixth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of Communist Party of China held last month took enhancement of environmental protection and promotion of the harmony between man and nature as an important task for the development of socialist harmonious society. The Chinese Government has issued the Decision on Strengthening Environmental Protection and stipulated the basic principle, priority and policy measures. It has also held the Six National Conference on Environmental Protection that makes overall arrangements for environmental protection work. Major environmental objectives and targets of China for the next 5 years are the followings: the environmental quality of key regions and cities will improve, ecological degradation trend will be basically curbed, energy consumption per unit GDP will reduce by 20% compared with that of 2005, total emission of key pollutants such as COD and SO2 will decrease by 10%, the amount of arable land will keep at 120 million hectares and forest coverage will increase from 18.2% to 20%. To this end, we need to do well the following work.

  (I) Promoting Energy and Resource Saving

  We will adhere to the principle of focusing on both development and resource saving with the latter as the priority, accelerate the shift of economic growth mode and improve resource and energy efficiency. We will adjust and optimize industrial structure and strive for the development of the industrial system with low input, low consumption, low emission but high efficiency. We will carry out 10 major energy saving projects such as the reform of industrial boilers, regional co-generation of heat and electricity, utilization of residual heat and pressure, energy saving of electric systems, energy saving buildings and green lighting. We will implement energy saving work of major industries such as iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, coal, power, chemical engineering and building materials. We will carry out energy saving reform in 1000 major enterprises that consume over 10,000 tons of coal, promote clean production, develop circular economy and raise comprehensive utilization rate of resources. In addition, we will optimize energy structure, speed up the development of renewable energy such as solar energy, wind energy and biomass as well as alternative energy including fuel ethanol and raise the percentage of clean energy.

  (II) Strengthening the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution

  We will continue the promotion of the prevention and control of water pollution of major river basins and do well such work in the "Three Rivers" (the Huaihe River, Haihe River and Liaohe River), the "Three Lakes" (Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake and Dianchi Lake), "One Reservoir" (Three Gorges Reservoir and its upstream region), "One City" (Beijing), "One Sea" (Bohai Sea), water source areas of the South-North Water Diversion Project and areas along the diversion line, Xiaolangdi Reservoir area and its upstream of the Yellow River as well as the Songhua River. We will firmly eliminate direct pollutant discharge outlets within drinking water protected areas according to law, protect urban drinking water sources. We will phase out a group of enterprises with heavy pollution, reform a group of enterprises with big consumption of water and big amount of pollution discharge, supervise a group of enterprises with high pollution load with the help of on-line monitoring devices, streamline a group of enterprises that do not meet pollution discharge standard within a given period of time and control total release of pollutants from the source. We will further enhance the development of urban sewage treatment facilities and environmentally friendly disposal facilities for garbage to raise the capacity in pollution control. It is expected that by the year 2010, urban sewage treatment rate will be no less than 70% and environmentally friendly disposal rate of domestic garbage no less than 60%. At the same time, we will improve emergency response and preparedness plan for sudden environmental accidents, intensify the efforts in ruling out hidden troubles and streamlining activities so as to prevent any accidents threatening the safety of water environment.

  (III) Strengthening the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution

  SO2 emission from coal-fueled power plants takes up over 30% of the total in China. Therefore, coal-fueled power plants are the focus for the reduction of SO2 emission. We will accelerate our work in sulfur removal of those power plants. New power plants must install sulfur removal facilities according to law. All existing power plants must meet SO2 emission standard within 10 years. We will implement strict vehicle emission standard to control automobile pollution. We will also reform and transform the enterprises with heavy dust pollution such as cement industry, strengthen environmental management on urban construction sites and transportation to prevent and control particulate pollution. In addition, we will optimize urban fuel structure, expand the scale of collective heating system and reduce coal fume pollution. According to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", we will actively address the issue of climate change and control the emission of green house gas. Beijing will hold Olympic Games in 2008, we will accelerate our work on improving the environmental quality of Beijing and strive for a "Green Olympics".

  (IV) Carrying Out Prevention and Control of Rural Pollution and Soil Pollution

  We will continue our effective measures to guide farmers applying fertilizers and pesticides in a scientific way, preventing and controlling the pollution caused by scaled livestock and foul breeding and reducing agricultural non-point pollution. Combining the development of new countryside, we will carry out comprehensive control of rural environment, promote the reform and transformation of rural drinking water supply and toilets, do well the work on comprehensive utilization of straw or crop residues, actively develop biomass gas resource in rural areas and appropriately treat domestic garbage and sewage. We will intensify our environmental management, prevent the transfer of industrial pollution from cities to urban areas. We will carry out investigation on soil pollution, comprehensively treat arable land that does not meet environmental standard and make adjustment to the arable land with heavy pollution and hard to remedy in accordance with the law.

  (V) Strengthen Efforts in Ecological Conservation and Development

  We will emphasis on the control of irrational development of resources according to the requirement of giving priority to protection and ensuring reasonable development of resources. We will bring natural ability of rehabilitation of ecosystem into full play and conserve ecology well. Given the carrying capacity of the environment, the development density and potential of different areas, we classify land territory across China into four major function areas: 1) optimum development areas, 2) focused development areas, 3) restricted development areas, and 4) banned development area. This classification aims at promoting regional sustainable development. We will continue the ecological development projects such as conversion of cropland to forest, grazing withdrawal and grassland management, conservation of natural forest, control of wind and sand sources, water and soil conservation and control of desertification and strengthen the management of nature reserves to protect biodiversity and safeguard biosafety.

  In order to meet the objectives and tasks for environmental protection, we will further implement target responsibility system. Some compulsory indictors including energy saving and environmental protection will be segmentized and information on energy consumption and pollution discharge of different areas and industries be released regularly. Fulfillment of these tasks is taken as an essential part to assess socio-economic development and performance of government officials. The State Council has entrusted SEPA, NDRC etc. to sign responsibility contract with each provincial people's governments and state-owned enterprises with a view to assign the tasks to specific departments. We will strengthen the rule of law. With strict investigation and sanction of environmental infringements, we will improve the development and implementation of laws and regulations as well as standards on resource saving and environmental protection. Efforts will be made to strictly implement access system for investment projects and environmental impact assessment system. We will carry out total control of pollution discharge and release permit system, implement compulsory phasing out of obsolete equipment system and pollution control within a given time limit, improve environmental supervision system. We will perfect our economic mechanism and policies by taking following measures: speed up the establishment of a pricing system that is able to fully reflect market demand and supply, scarcity of resources and cost of environmental damage; improve the charging system for sewage treatment, refuse disposal, pollution discharge and trading of pollutant discharge right; establish eco compensation system and implement financial, credit, trade and land policies that favor resource saving and environmental protection; increase government investment and actively channel funds from non-governmental sources. We will promote innovation and progress in science and technology. Key research projects will be launched to address tough issues in the field of resource saving and environmental protection. And experts will be mobilized to strive for technological breakthrough in some key areas and to conduct technology demonstration and extension work. All social forces will be mobilized to promote sustainable development. We will persistently promote the basic national policy on saving resources and protecting the environment by mobilizing all parties to take appropriate measures in each field like production, circulation, consumption and construction so as to build a resource efficient and environment-friendly society in an all-round way.

  Ladies and gentlemen,

  CCICED has made significant contributions to environmental protection and sustainable development of China and the world over its 15 years of history. In recent years, CCICED Phase III has been actively developing cooperation with partners and organizing related experts to conduct research on China's energy strategy, circular economy, sustainable development of agriculture, non-point pollution control, investment and financing in environmental protection, eco compensation, pricing for environment and resources as well as trade and environment, putting forward a series of policy recommendations. The Chinese Government has paid high attention to the research findings and related departments under the State Council and local governments have listened to the experts' opinion earnestly. Experience shows that these policy recommendations have played an important role. CCICED Phase III has gained strong support from some foreign countries and international organizations including Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. All the Council Members, experts and staff of the Secretariat have done a lot of work. As the Chair of this phase of CCICED, I am very satisfied. I would like to express my thanks to all of you. Under our joint efforts, CCICED Phase III will accomplish its task with great honor. As the Chinese government has approved the establishment of the Fourth Phase of CCICED, I would like to put forward some hopes and following suggestions:

  First, policy on environment and development should be explored in a more profound manner. CCICED Phase IV should carry forward the fine tradition of the previous three phases by further playing the role of a multi-lateral international advisory mechanism. CCICED should organize domestic and international experts carefully and widely draw upon international experience. While choosing topics for research, some major issues concerning sustainable development should be considered, centering on China's objective and task of implementing Scientific Outlook on Development and building a socialist harmonious society. Only with this in mind can we make policy recommendations to the Chinese government that are proactive, strategic and with feasibility. In the near future, CCICED should pay more attention to the implementation of the Eleventh Five-Year Development Plan, the achievement of compulsory targets on energy saving and pollution reduction as well as the enforcement of key tasks for environmental protection.

  Second, topic research should be more target-oriented. Research should cater to practical needs of social development and environmental protection. CCICED should expand its expert team and service fields by combining policy research and management consultation. It should reinforce application research in such areas as the control of water pollution and rehabilitation of water environment, control of urban air pollution, integrated management of regional pollution, control of ecological degradation and restoration, reuse and comprehensive utilization of resources, energy saving and development of renewable energy, etc. This is particularly true for the prevention and control of chemical pollution, how to set up and improve the environmental facilities of chemical plants, effectively strengthen management of the storage and transport of chemicals and prevent and deal with leakage of gaseous and liquid chemicals accidents promptly become an urgent issue for solution. I hope CCICED will launch some topic research and provide effective intellectual support.

  Third, actively take part in projects on resource saving and environmental protection. To implement key national projects on environmental protection, resource saving, develop circular economy and environmental industry, China is in urgent need for technology achievements, management skills, expertise, professionals and capitals. The Council Members and experts gathered by CCICED are all celebrities in the field of environment and development. I hope you can further exert your influence to attract the academic, science and technology and industry sectors home and abroad, bringing more international experts and enterprises to China for economic and technological cooperation and transfer of applicable state-of-the-art technology and management skills. They are also expected to take part in the construction of environmental infrastructure, enterprise reform on environmental facilities, and the production, manufacture and consulting services for environment-friendly products in order to expand new market and make a win-win situation.

  Fourth, enhance efforts in training programs and exchanges. The development of China's environmental protection cause requires a good deal of talents. Personnel exchange and training programs offered by the mechanism of CCICED have reaped harvest within a short period of time, which deserves further enhancement. CCICED has done a lot in this area over the past years. I hope it will review the past and identify future direction. With topic research, policy consultation and the introduction of technology and management skills, CCICED should, by bringing out the best of its advantages and tapping foreign expertise, train more talents for the development of resource saving technology and clean and safe production. At the same time, CCICED should continue its introduction of advanced environmental ideas and management skills, raising public awareness and enhancing the capacity of the government in environmental protection.

  Fifth, improve the level of international cooperation on environment and development. China is the largest developing country in the world. Pollution control, environmental protection and sustainable development are not only in the fundamental interest of the Chinese people, but also a great contribution to the undertaking of environment and development of the world. With optimum industrial structure, improved efficiency and reduced consumption, China will maintain appropriate economic growth while striving for the achievement of our environmental objectives. Besides our major efforts in addressing domestic problems on environment and development, we will open wider to the outside world and continuously strengthen international exchange and cooperation in the field of environment and development. As an important platform for environmental cooperation between China and the world, CCICED should play a bigger role in active collaboration with related governments and international institutions by expanding and deepening cooperation as well as enhancing the level of cooperation. Only in this way can it better serve the cause of environment and development. The Council should also give publicity to China's new ideas and approaches for the implementation of the Scientific Outlook on Development, the existing condition of China's socio-economic development and measures and progress in addressing environmental problems so as to promote mutual understanding and trust between China and other countries for better international cooperation.

  Finally, I hope all the Council Members and experts share their findings, have in-depth discussion about key topics according to the theme of this AGM. Your enthusiasm and talents will make this meeting and CCICED Phase III a complete success. I hope you make further suggestions and offer advice on China's sustainable development and make precious contributions to world prosperity and progress.

  I wish the meeting a complete success and hope all the guests enjoy your work and stay in Beijing! Thank you!

Contact Us:

Address:5 Houyingfang Hutong,Xicheng District,Beijing 100035 P.R.Chinazip code:100035

Copyright © 2020 Secretariat of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. All Rights Reserved. Presented by China Daily.