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Summary Speech at the Closing Ceremony(Zhou Shengxian)


  Membersexperts and guests,

  Under the joint efforts of all Members and experts, CCICED 2008 AGM has successfully finished each agenda with great achievements.


  Yesterday afternoon, Premier Wen Jiabao met with International Members. In view of the spread and worsening of current international financial crisis and slowdown of global economy, Premier Wen asked two questions of common concern at the beginning: 1) Should we still adhere to environmental protection and sustainable development? 2) What is the relationship between the current promotion of steady fast economic growth and long-term socio-economic development? After further exchange of opinions, Premier Wen pointed out that China should take this financial crisis as an opportunity for both economic growth and the promotion of environmental protection cause. Hearing this, we are encouraged with higher spirit and stronger confidence for doing well environmental protection work under new situation. On the first day of AGM, Mr. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairman of CCICED attended the opening ceremony and gave us an important speech. He clearly said, China will continuously put environmental protection at a pre-eminent strategic position and enhancement of the development of eco-environment as an important measure for expanding domestic demand, facilitate the improvement of welfare and shift of growth pattern, maintain steady and fast economic growth in order to achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development of the economy and society.


  Centering on the theme “Innovation and harmonious development”, Chinese and International Executive Vice Chair and Vice chairperson of the Council gave us their speech or remarks. Ms. Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General of IUCN presented a special speech. The meeting listened to the reports and policy recommendations of five task forces, i.e. Task Force on Innovation and Environment-Friendly Society, Task Force on Environment and Health, Task Force on Market-based Instruments for Energy and Resource Efficiency, Task Force on Improving Energy Efficiency in Building and Transportation Sectors in Urban Development and Task Force on Road Map for a Low Carbon Economy in China. To raise efficiency, this AGM arranged group discussions. Chinese Member Ms. Wang Jirong and International Member Mr. Hans van der Vlist had a speech respectively at the beginning of the group discussion. In free discussions, Members talked about wide topics covering climate change, green procurement, environment & health, low carbon economy, resource productivity, environmental industry, green Olympics, Shanghai Expo, urban development, rural environmental protection, environmental protection regulations and standards, disclosure of information and public participation, etc.. With heated discussion at the general meeting, Members have presented many valuable comments and suggestions. In the group discussion, Members and experts had in-depth discussions about the Policy Recommendations to the Chinese Government. Absorbing all these comments and suggestions, the Policy Recommendation Team improved the Policy Recommendations of 2008 AGM, which has been passed in principle by our Members after review. After the AGM, CCICED Secretariat will present the Policy Recommendations to the Chinese Government.


  Members and experts,

  The year 2008 is unusual for both China and the world. Just as Premier Wen said, this AGM has different meaning & significance compared with the past AGMs. During the 2008 AGM, we have reviewed the past, analyzed current situation and projected the future. After three-day in-depth discussions, we have fully exchanged our views and reached the following important common understanding on how to enhance environmental protection and achieve sustainable development during current international financial crisis. This is the achievement different from past AGMs.                       

  First, firmly adhere to environmental protection and facilitate sustainable development.

  Chinese and international experience shows that protecting the environment is the protection of productivity; saving resources is the enhancement of the staying power for development. Members believe that economic development at the price of the environment could work for some period, but is not sustainable. The slower economic growth is, the more important to correctly handle the relations between environment and economy. We must not use economic downturn as an excuse for loosening environmental protection and shaking of the determination of sustainable development.


  Second, turn current economic crisis into an opportunity for environmental protection and economic growth.

  Ancient Chinese said, we could see the ability & capacity of a person when he is facing big difficulties. CCICED Members believe that current international financial and economic crisis is bringing about grave challenge to economic growth and environmental protection. However, we should see the crisis in a dialectical way and be good at seeking opportunity during crisis and try to turn the crisis into an opportunity. As long as we take initiative to shift growth mode with strong measures and seize this good opportunity for the adjustment of economic structure and shift of growth mode, we can turn this economic crisis into a dual opportunity for both economic development and environmental protection.


  Third, energy saving and environmental protection is a new engine for economic growth.      

  There is huge demand potential in the field of resource and environment. Members believe that we could turn energy saving and environmental protection into an important driving force for steady & fast economic growth by such measures as actively adjusting investing policies, taking energy saving & emission reduction as a focus of investment, and environmental protection & resource saving as an important aspect for expanding domestic demand, resolutely phasing out lag-behind productivity of the industries with high energy consumption and heavy pollution or resource-oriented, supporting energy saving and environmental protection industries and R&D of their products as well as driving the consumption.


  Fourth, institutional innovation is an effective approach for the promotion of the cause of environment and development.

  Reform and innovation is the eternal driving force to promote the cause of environment and development. Members believe that China is at the critical stage of reform and opening up. The Chinese Government should closely combine institutional innovation with the summarizing of historical experience and deepening the development of market economy. For example, summarizing the successful experience of the green Olympics could facilitate the improvement of regional ambient air quality. Price leverage is the core of market mechanism. The Chinese Government should actively and properly facilitate pricing reform, and raise resource productivity. This will not damage economic growth. Instead, it will be conducive to environmental protection and conservation of resources.


  Fifth, addressing global crisis needs sincerer and more practical international cooperation. 

  Members take the view that each country in the world is facing the challenges imposed by global economic crisis. No country in the world can maintain good development without being influenced by world economy. Avoiding retrogression of environmental protection along with economic downturn is an important topic for each country to further facilitate the cause of environment and development. In particular under tight financial conditions, developed countries should at least maintain their environmental aid level to developing countries, otherwise leaving a hidden risk to the development of human civilization. The Chinese Government will adhere to the principle of “mutual benefit, win-win situation with practical and effective spirit”, actively carry out international environmental cooperation, introduce advanced management experience, talents and funds, proactively promote the establishment of appropriate technology transfer mechanism, facilitate more rational distribution of fund and technology at global level so as to make due contribution to addressing the environment and development issue confronting mankind.


  This is the summary of the main achievements of 2008 AGM. There might be some omission due to time limit and I hope you understand. If you think that I miss something important, we can make addition before the end of this AGM.


  Members and experts,

  Experience 17 years, CCICED has witnessed important transformations of both knowledge and practice of environmental protection in China. It will witness the historic transformation process in which environmental protection gradually integrates into economic development. Mr. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council and member of Political Bureau of CCCPC takes chair of CCICED beginning from this year, this fully demonstrates the high attention of the Chinese Government to CCICED and is a shining point of this AGM. We believe that under the leadership of Vice Premier Li, CCICED Phrase IV will continue its innovative, industrious and scientific spirit and play more active role in raising living standard of 1.3 billion people and improving environmental quality during economic growth in China.


  At the end of CCICED 2008 AGM, please allow me, on behalf of the Bureau, to pay our high tribute to each Member and expert attending the AGM and relevant departments, social organizations, universities and scientific institute for their strong support and active participation! We also express our sincere thanks to CCICED Secretariat and all other staff providing services to 2008 AGM!


  Finally, I wish all International Members and experts a smooth journey back home!


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