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Speech at the Opening Ceremony(Klaus T?pfer)

2008-11-12author:Klaus T?pfersource:

  Madam Chairperson, friends, Vice Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and dear colleagues,


  I’m indeed an old person in these meetings of CCICED. But I can inform you this meeting is really in a very critical time, if you don’t want to use the word “too inflational”, it is really a historic time. And I believe it is very good to know that what was prepared for this meeting by the task forces, senior experts is hanging up to this challenge. It’s really a world-class basis for our discussions for the advice to the Chinese government.


  It’s really a critical historic time. On the one side, and I underline what was mentioned in one of those papers, these past twelve months has been the most active ever the year for China in terms of improving the relationship for environment and development, and that we need all. If you see, the speech of his Excellence President Hu Jintao at the 17th CPC Congress, then you see there is something like a paradigmatic shift, there’s a change in the overall development, which it’s important for this country, but I believe for the whole world.


  Indeed, this is to measure, and I’m very happy that my good old friend, Minister Xie underlines those figures, that we know, that this is not only some think in the blue as a vision, it’s going more and more implementation. Of course, we know, there is still a long way to go. You never can change in a forthright what was developed for some years. But if you see the basic laws in this field, the law on promoting circular economy, the law on renewable energy, the law on urban planning, then you know, this is a great basis, and we have to underline that, there is noble objective of a harmonized harmonious society of ecological civilization, which is not lip service, but has consequences for the development of this country, and of this world.


  Therefore, this is a historic, we need caution. I’m a little bit afraid that this paradigmatic shift is not yet very well known to the world. Maybe that we can contribute as Members of this meeting, and of this CCICED process, to make it better known.


  A caution a historic time is not only of positive think, of course, we are challenged by dramatically destabilized global economy. It is mentioned again and again, and you can not discuss in those days environment topics, sustainability topics without being aware of those framework condition. We see inflation of imports, we see recessions, we see drops going be precaution on the social fabric, the social pillars of sustainable development, we see stagnation. And let’s very clear, the consequences of this destabilized global economy is mainly within developing countries, they are the poorest of the poor, we are restoring some process we could positively see in the last years.


  It’s good to know, that in this very moment, China proves to be, again, a responsible global citizen. And I want to underline only three topics, which I believe, are very important in this very field.


  First, you’ll know we have to develop a new architecture for global economy and global society. If we are not using this crisis to bring this new architecture, some people name it two systems to a success. We are only programming the next crisis with all its negative consequences. So we have to plot wherever China is leading and constructive actor in this development of a new architecture. And we know, that this must integrate much more the topic of fighting poverty, the topic of environment degradation in this new architecture.


  I learned with great pleasure with my friend and my successor, my son in this office, Achim Steiner, develop very clearly this green economic structure. I believe we should consider a little bit also here about these, what are the, let’s say, the integration in this reform process quite now, I’m happy that quite a number of recommendations are in the papers. And I sincerely believe, that this is also a good chance to prove that this new global structure has a totally as dimensional fairness for developing countries and fairness for those coming now to overcome poverty to make globalization an instrument for overcome poverty, first pillar. We must be interested in and stimulating the Chinese government to play a leading role in the development of this architecture, and this is not a far-reaching topic they start in this weekend, and therefore it is high time to be aware of this.


  Second, I think it was more than a marginal event, China decided, on a pillar, to stabilize the economic development to fight global recession by this stimulation program. I learned for the first two years, 600 billion US$. If you see it for the time to come, there is much more. This is really a good chance to implement what Premier Wen Jiabao mentions that we need transformations, much more concentrated to the domestic market and to consumption, much more concentrated to energy and resource saving and efficiency.


  And finally, third, this white paper on China’s policy and action for adverse climate change can only congratulate our friendhe presented this paper only some days before. It gives a clear signal that climate change and the assessment of China is not a victim of the financial crisis. Quite the contrary, that’s financial crisis can be used in making a boost for climate policy. To integrate all 600 billion and more for energy efficiency, for the development of new infrastructure, especially the raiway system and a lot of others. Yes these topics are architecture, investment program, and the White Paper, they belong together, and I think we have a good chance to make a contribution also to the Copenhagen Process.


  Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I believe we should be aware of the success of China in organizing the Green Olympics. Not only in organizing it, but also being on the medal table No. 1. Minister, I can inform you, that at least in my country, this was a wonderful experience, and this is possible.


  The next big meeting here in China will be in two years time ──Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The title of this is “Better city, better life”. And whenever we have cross-cutting topics with all the all activities, we must be aware sustainable development will be successful or not successful in cities. China goes to urban population of over 60% as the year 2000 earlier. What can be contribute in this field, I’m very happy that one of our task forces delivered a very respective paper in this field, and we should be aware that this is really high on the agenda as a cross-cutting topic, of course, as this is for the whole region as well. And if you go to cities, you will see very concrete possibilities.


  Let me finalize this, I know that I speak too long, Madam Chairperson. But I was just in Shanghai, and I was invited to go to the central landfill. I never saw a landfill of this capacity, incredible. But they developed the CDM project, and they are now collecting the methane gas and make this a contribution to climate change: investment, job creation, technology transfer and environment benefits, a wonderful experience. Then you go to the huge sewage water treatment plant 2 million tons a day, and there still the question what we are doing is the largest. So we can see a lot of those investment projects very clearly, and I believe that it’s a great endeavor. And it is a good chance we have this paradigmatic shift.


  The visible, not only symbolic, but visible signal is, we have a Ministry for Environmental Protection. Congratulations, Minister, you are the first environment minister of China. I mentioned this morning in the Bureau Meeting, you see, I was once the first environment minister at home. That is a great chance. If you are the first, you are always mentioned later. You are the most important person. Therefore, all good luck for your work, for Ministry of Environmental Protection, which needs more staff, but needs not more commitment. You have been doing it already, and all our best wishes for you. You know, this CCICED, more than once, recommended to upgrade SEPA to a ministry. Now, we can celebrate it. And I’m happy. That later on, we have a reception, maybe we come back to this wonderful development.


  And thank you very much.


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