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Summary Speech at the Closing Ceremony (Zhou Shengxian)


Members, experts and guests,

  Under concerted efforts of all Mem-bers and experts, CCICED 2009 AGM is going to close. Participants poured out their opinion, carried out in-depth discussions and put forward many constructive comments and suggestions during the past three days. The Meeting meets its expected goal with complete success.

  The Chinese Government attaches great importance to this AGM. Premier Wen Jiabao is going to meet International Members this afternoon and listen to their policy recommendations to the Chinese Government. Mr. Li Keqiang, Chairperson of CCICED and Vice Premier of the State Council attended the opening ceremony and delivered an important speech in the afternoon of November 11, 2009. He clearly points out that during the international financial crisis, China has not relaxed its efforts in environmental protection. On the contrary, it has taken the improvement of environmental protection as an important task for strategic adjustment of economic structure and key instrument for transformation of growth mode with remarkable achievements in reducing pollution emissions. The Chinese Government will continuously take the development of ecological civilization as a strategic task for build-ing Xiaokang society in an all-round way and environmental protection as the main front and fundamental measures for the development of ecological civilization and strive for gradual improvement of eco-environment of China.

  Centering on the theme “energy, envi-ronment and development”, both Chinese and international executive vice chairs and vice chairs of CCICED gave there speech or report. Members listened to the findings of 5 Task Forces including “Task Force on China's Pathway Towards a Low Carbon Economy”, "Task Force on Economic Instruments for Energy Efficiency and the Environment”, "Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Urban Development”, "Task Force on Rural Development and Its Energy, Environment and Climate Change Adaptation Policy” and “Task Force on Sustainable Use of Coal and Pollution Control Policy in China” and the policy recommendations to the Chinese Government as well as the policy recommendation from comprehensive research program. Based on suggestions of Members put forward last year, this Annual General Meeting made an innovation and established for the first time two thematic forums: one is “Promoting Low Carbon Economy in Response to Climate Change” and the other “China's 12th Five-Year Plan: Addressing on Urban and Rural Green Development”. Participants actively voiced their opinions, enriched the contents and raised efficiency. The Meeting has revised and improved the policy recommendations based on in-depth discussions and accepted them after collective review by Members. After the Meeting, CCICED Secretariat will submit the policy recommendations to the Chinese Government according to procedure.

  As International Executive Vice Chairperson Ms. Biggs said, this year is the period of CCICED with richest fruits. This AGM is at the important time when the economic rising trend of China is consolidated and the mid assessment of the implementation of the “11th Five-Year Plan” as well as the design for the “12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development”. Focusing on turning the contradiction between economic growth and environmental protection and relevant challenges into specific measures for green prosperity of China, Members and experts have put forward many good suggestions, it is a highlight of this Meeting. These suggestions mainly include the followings: 1) Develop a green economy and speed up green transformation of economic development; 2) Develop low carbon economy with consideration of both international and national contexts; 3) Implement a national strategy for safe, efficient and clean coal exploitation and utilization; 4) Take more innovative approaches to address key energy and environment issues in both urban and rural development; 5) Reform and improve economic policies for increasing energy efficiency and for environmental management; 6) Enhance the capacity of China in sustainable development and develop a green “12th Five-Year National Plan for National Economic and Social Development”.

  Reviewing CCICED activities of the past year and summarizing common concern and suggestions of all Members, we have reached the following agreement, which are important achievements of this AGM.

  First, environmental protection is the main front and fundamental measures for the development of ecological civilization. CCICED Members and experts hold the view that in terms of the strategic position of achieving sustainable development and building a Xiaokang society in an all-round way, Vice Premier Li Keqiang stressed environmental protection is main front and fundamental measure for the development of ecological civilization, further clarified the important role of environmental protection in facilitating the development of ecological civilization and pointed out the direction for environmental protection cause. CCICED Members and experts appeal: “If all countries in the world are able to achieve prosperity at the cost of minimum ecological damage and respect natural and eco-services provided by Earth, it is highly possible that we can achieve ecological civilization”. As a high-level human civilization and a component of the overall picture of socialist cause of China with Chinese characteristics, Ecological civilization focuses on development. Only continually deepening our understanding, taking initiative in practice and making unremitting efforts can we obtained remarkable achievements. Environmental problem is a main factor constraining the development of ecological civilization. To develop ecological civilization, we in the first place should strengthen environmental protection. Any progress, breakthrough or achievement in environmental protection is active contribution to the development of ecological civilization.

  Second, the exploration of new path of environmental protection with Chinese characteristics is the historical requirement and urgent need in reality. Environment and development issues in each country have both similarities and individual differences due to different national conditions and social development stages. China shall not follow the old path of western developed countries featuring “pollution followed by treatment and transferring environmental cost to other countries”. On the contrary, based on its basic national conditions, China must follow a new path of environmental protection with Chinese characteristics through learning from international experience. Many Council Members believe that China is in the strategic transitional period of environment and development, following a new path of environmental protection is an inevitable choice under current situation. Exploring new path of environmental protection with Chinese characteristics shows the strong resolution of China in facilitating ecological civilization and addressing environmental problems. New path of environmental protection in China is a green development road including such contents as green economy, low carbon economy and circular economy,a bright road towards green prosperity and also a road to further promote the development of eco-logical civilization. Under the guidance of new strategies like the outlook on scientific development and ecological civilization, we should continually deepen our understanding, be more voluntary in our action with more practice. We will carry out new explorations on new path of environmental protection with Chinese characteristics in such areas as effective approaches to release the contradiction between environment and development, overcoming the bottleneck of improving environmental quality, effective improvement of environmental protection work methods and enrichment & improvement of environment economic policies.

  Third, developing green economy is the solid foundation for achieving green prosperity. According to CCICED report, with such characteristics as maintaining human living environment, utilizing resources and energy in an appropriate way and conducive to human health, green economy is the basic policy to achieve sus-tainable development. Each country in the world shall take the development & promotion of green economy and achievement of green prosperity as a basic government policy for macro economic regulations and accelerate the innovation and extension of green technologies with the help of various regulating instruments. The Chinese Government has made efforts to promote economic transition over the past few years with upward surge of green economy. China needs making more efforts in the development of circular economy, raising resource & energy efficiency, putting more input in research and development of green technologies and green investment, developing green industry, cultivating new growth engine, speeding up industrial restructuring, reforming conventional industries that will be eco-friendly. In addition, China should issue policy measures conducive to the promotion of green consumption and advocate sustained consumption pattern that saves resources and protects the environment.

  Fourth, the harmony between environment and development is an important support to sustainable development. Energy is important physical foundation for economic and social development. To a large extent, environmental issue is an energy issue, energy and environment have close relationship with development. China is a big producer and consumer of energy. The achievement of the harmony between energy and environment is urgent need for supporting sustainable development. Ad-hering the idea of harmony between energy and environment, we should actively development low carbon economy, adjust energy mix in production and consumption, develop low carbon energy sources, gradually reduce the consumption of non-renewable energy sources with higher efficiency, greatly improve carbon productivity, reduce pollution emissions, facilitate the improvement of eco-environment by sustained energy development and support sustainable socioeconomic development.

  Fifth, take initiatives to continuously do well environmental protection under current international financial crisis. Historical experience shows the following three patterns of international financial crisis: 1) financial crisis may trigger economic and social crisis. But proper handling it can avoid social crisis; 2) environmental protection is subject to ignorance during the process of addressing economic crisis;3) overcoming crisis provides an opportunity for technological-breakthrough, industrial restructuring and development of new economy. Although international financial crisis brings big impacts on China's economy, the Chinese Government has not relaxed its efforts in energy saving and emission reduction, always taken environmental protection & ecological development as an important measure, given full play to the role of environmental protection in facilitating and optimizing economic development, kept on steady reduction of COD and SO2 emissions while reversing economic downturn in short period of time. As a result, both surface water environment quality of China and urban air quality of key cities had some improvement. These measures and achievements are spoken highly by Members and experts. At present, the driving force for the recovery of world economy is not sufficient and the foundation for economic recovery in China is not sound. Based on reality, we must keep on improving relevant plans and policy measures, facilitate steady economic growth. On the other hand, we must keep our eyes on the future and consider the requirements of postcrisis period or even longer. According to the requirement of no shake in determination, no relax in action and no change in policies, we will continuously do well environmental protection work under current international financial crisis.

  Council Members and experts!

  Multiple crisis confronting China and the world requires for new path of prosperity and development. The idea of developing ecological civilization is the strategic innovation and good attempts of the Chinese Government in addressing sustainable development issue at the root based on its national conditions. It becomes a big challenge for us as how to explore the new path of environmental protection with Chinese characteristics with the guidance of ecological civilization. As an important think tank for the development of environmental protection cause of China, CCICED has wide international perspective, rich theoretical knowledge and practical experience. I hope that all Members make full use of your advantages, deepen your research and contribute your wisdom and strength to the development of ecological civilization and environmental protection of China. Here, I would like to review the saying in the opening speech of Vice Premier Li Keqiang: “The beauty of knowledge and ideas lies in sharing and learning. The benefits of exchanges and communications lie in the improvement of understanding and enrichment of thought”.

  At the end of the Annual General Meeting, I, on behalf of the Bureau of CCICED and Ministry of Environmental Protection and in my own name, would like to express our sincere thanks to all Chinese and international experts, scholars, government officials as well as the staff providing good service for this AGM who have made hard work for the success of this AGM!

  I wish you smooth work and good health!

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