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Speech at the Opening Ceremony (Xie Zhenhua)


Respected CCICED vice chairpersons,

Guests, ladies and gentlemen,

  Good afternoon!

  CCICED 2009 Annual General Meeting is solemnly held here today. New and old friends gather again in Beijing. Please allow me, on behalf of NDRC to extend my warm congratulations to the opening of this Meeting and welcome to all Members, experts and guests! Just a moment ago, Vice Premier Li Keqiang gave an important speech. He analyzed domestic development and international situations over the past year and stressed the importance of putting more efforts in facilitating sustainable development of China. We will seriously materialize his speech in our future work.

  The Chinese Government attaches great importance to energy saving and emission reduction as well as climate change. It has taken energy saving and emission reduction as well as combating climate change as an important measure for economic restructuring, shift of development mode and acceleration of the building a resource saving and environment-friendly society. Based on the “11th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development”, China has developed the “National Program for Climate Change” and “Program of Comprehensive Work on Energy Saving and Emission Reduction”, and identified two binding targets during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, that is, 20% reduction of energy consumption per unit GDP and 10% re-duction of total discharge of main pollutants. In addition, the percent of renewable energy source will take up about 10% of primary energy mix and forest coverage will reach 20% across the country by the end of 2010. According to the unified arrangement of the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council, each province and department employs economic, legal and necessary administrative measures to materialize national program and the comprehensive work program and makes more efforts with important progress in energy saving and emission reduction as well as climate change. In the first 3 years of the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, the accumulated reduction of energy con-sumption per unit GDP was 10.1%, the accumulated drop of SO2 emission and COD discharge was 8.95% and 6.61% re-spectively. In the first 6 months of 2009, energy consumption per unit GDP went down by 3.35%. It is expected that the accumulated reduction of energy con-sumption per unit GDP will be about 14% by the end of this year. SO2 emission went down by 5.4% and COD discharge dropped by 2.46% in the first 6 months of 2009. By the end of 2008, renewable energy source accounted for about 9% of primary energy mix in China. The findings of 2009 forest census show 20% forest coverage in China. Facing the impact of international financial crisis, the Chinese Government has not relaxed its efforts in energy saving and emission reduction and combating climate change. Among the new 4 trillion Yuan investment, 580 billion Yuan are for the mitigation of climate change. Although with many difficulties, it is expected that the main targets on energy saving and emission reduction and combating climate change during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period will be met after common efforts of government at all levels and the entire society.

  Our policy measures for energy saving and emission reduction and handling climate change mainly include the following aspects.

  (1) Phasing out outdated productivity. From 2006 to 2008, China had phased out about 60 million tons outdated capacity in iron smelting, 43 million tons outdated ca-pacity in steel smelting, 140 million tons cement productivity, and 64 million tons capacity in coke industry. China had shut down a total of 54 million kW capacity of small thermal power generating stations by the end of June of 2009, finishing the task of shutting down 50 million kW such ca-pacity during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period ahead of schedule. We will continue this work.

  (2) Optimizing energy mix. The utilization of renewable energy sources reached 250 million tons coal equivalent by the end of 2008. China ranks No.1 in the world in terms of installed capacity of hydropower, construction scale of nuclear power stations, solar heater service area, outputs of solar photo-galvanic cells and No.4 in terms of installed capacity of wind power. A total of 30.5 million rural households had con-structed domestic biogas pit with annual output of about 12 billion m3 of methane by the end of 2008, equivalent to reducing the emission of more than 49 million tons of CO2.

  (3) Promoting technical progress. China has speeded up technical research & development on energy saving and emis-sion reduction and developed a number of key and common technologies for energy saving and emission reduction. It has carried out ten key energy saving projects and environmental control projects in an all-round way. During 2006-2008, the central government arranged 33.6 billion yuan in-budget fund and 50.5 billion yuan financial capital of the central government to support the ten key energy saving projects, construction of urban sewage treatment facilities and supporting pipelines, prevention and control of water pollution in key river basins and capacity building in environ-mental protection and so on. With financial subsidy, the government has extended the application of a total of 180 million energy-saving light. China has accelerated the establishment of energy saving technology service system, carried out contracted energy management, cultivated energy saving and environmental protection ser-vice market.

  (4) Increasing forest carbon sink. Forest reserve has grown by nearly 100 million m3 year on year over the past 5 years with total forest area of the country at 175 million ha. Forest coverage has gone up from 14% in early 1990s to 20%. The reserved artificial forest area reached 54 million ha, ranking No.1 in the world. The Chinese Government has actively carried out such eco-protection policies as protection of natural forest, grain for green, development and management of grassland, development of nature reserves and further enhanced the capacity of forestry as sink of GHGs.

  (5) Strengthening fundamental man-agement. Establish and improve statistics, monitoring and examination system for energy saving and emission reduction and carry out strict accountability system. China has carried out the minimum energy performance standard for energy-consuming products, and expanded the implementation scope of compulsory energy efficiency labeling. China has practically done well energy saving work in key energy consuming industries such as power, iron & steel, building, transportation and public institutions and strengthened the management of energy conservation of key units with heavy consumption of energy. In 2008, 82% of new buildings met energy saving standard during the construction phase. A total of 39.65 million m2 in northern China subject to heating in winter have finished or are under heating measurement and energy saving reform. The consumption of has gone down by 21.6% for auto-mobile fuel and 4.2% for electricity consumption in central government departments compared with that of 2008. On-line monitoring has been carried out for key pollution sources. The Chinese Government has promoted the pollution treatment of key river basins and addressed outstanding environmental problems. It has vigorously developed circular economy, carried out national circular economy trial work in enterprises, industries, industrial parks (zones), cities and provinces and extended typical experience in the development of circular economy.

  (6) Improving policy mechanism. China has established the energy saving special fund. With the application of “re-placing subsidy by reward”, the government has supported such work as key projects on energy saving, high-efficiency energy saving products, contracted energy management and capacity building in energy saving at grass-root level. For example, the Chinese Government has presented 10% subsidy for industrial energy saving, higher energy efficiency and tech-nical reform projects; 30% subsidy for purchase of energy saving and environment-friendly automobiles; 10% subsidy for purchase of high-efficiency and energy saving household appliances; and 50% subsidy for household purchase of energy-saving lights. The Chinese Government encouraged “old for new” of automobiles and household appliances and offered 13% price subsidy. Also, the Chinese Government has carried out tax reduction or exemption policy for the enterprises that save energy, develop circular economy and carry out comprehensive utilization of resources. For the projects addressing outstanding environmental problems, the government has implemented the policy of "using award to facilitate environment control” and provided those projects with some awarding fund. In addition, the government is studying the possibility of implementing eco-compensation mechanism in regions with hard work on ecological conservation.

  Members and experts,

  It is only 25 days left for the Copenhagen Meeting. We hope that in the spirit of highly responsible for long-term survival and development of mankind, the government of each country should implement the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, follow the mandate of the Bali Roadmap, adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and jointly facilitate active outcome of the meeting. At the United Nations Climate Change Summit in September, President Hu Jintao pointed out to address global climate change, fulfilling respective responsibilities should be at the core of our effort; achieving mutual benefits and win-win outcome should be the goal; promoting common development should be the basis of our efforts and ensuring financing and technology holds the key to the success. President Hu Jintao also put forward the following specific measures of China for addressing climate change: First, strengthen energy conservation and raise energy efficiency, we will strive for remarkable reduction of CO2 emission per unit GDP in 2020 compared with that of 2005. Second, vigorously develop renewable energy and nuclear energy, it is expected that non-fossil energy will take up about 15% of total consumption of primary energy by 2020. Third, make more efforts in increasing carbon sink. It is expected that forest area in China will go up by 40 million hectares, forest reserve will increase by 1.3 billion m3 in 2020 compared with that of 2005. Fourth, vigorously develop green economy, actively develop low carbon economy and circular economy, develop and extend climate-friendly technologies. The climate change policy of the Chinese Government is based on both our determination in addressing global problems and domestic requirement for achieving sustainable development. We will keep on close cooperation with international communities, turn the political will to climate change into action and jointly contribute to active achieve-ments of the forthcoming Copenhagen Meeting.

  As a high-level policy advisory insti-tution for the State Council, CCICED has developed a team with unique experts resources with vitality, experience and wisdom over 18-year development and become a think tank with important influence in China and even the whole world. With the progress of the cause of China's environment and development, CCICED should and is able to put forward more and better policy recommendations on sustainable development of China. It is an honor for me to serve as Vice Chair of CCICED. Under the leadership of Vice Premier Li Keqiang, I would be happy to exchange ideas and discussion with all Members and experts on such areas as energy saving, environmental protection, development of circular economy and climate change; jointly facilitate sustainable development of China and contribute to the protection of the Earth─our common home.

  Finally, I wish a complete success of this Meeting!

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