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Speech at the Opening Ceremony (Borge Brende)


Thank you Ms Chairperson, Respected Minister Zhou, Vice Minister Xie, old and new friends of CCICED,

  It has been an adventurous year since our last annual general meeting in November, 2008. By then, we were facing the great depression, and it boiled down to the great recession. In this time, China has demonstrated wisdom coupled with practical approach. The Chinese stimulus package has worked effectively to maintain economic growth. At the same time, it is one of the greenest stimulus packages especially the massive investments in the modern and nationwide high-speed railway system testify to the Chinese Government commitment to the development of low carbon infrastructure for the 21st century. No other country in the world is matching this scale of investment in green infrastructure.

  Science is showing that climate change is an increasing threat to long-term global development and security. The international financial crisis has questioned the framework of modern global economy. It is a time of crisis and of opportunities. And it has increased China's position in the world. The world's impact is moving from the north to the south, from the west to the east. And looking at the world population, 50% is under the age of 20 years old. The international financial crisis has changed the power equation not only in the financial sector, where three of the five largest banks globally now are Chinese banks. The CEO of HSBC moved from London to Hong Kong last week. In just five years, the Chinese wind industry has become a significant global player. The Chinese market for wind energy now is the most dynamic in the world, and soon also the world largest. This shows that China has been able to addressing internal issues of energy security while reducing pollution, mitigating climate change and developing a new industry. This demonstrates a win-win situation between economic development and green development does exist.

  Vice Premier Li Keqiang stressed that China sees the development of green and low carbon industries to be strategic priority for China. These are the industries of the future. China is already showing global leadership. In this time of globalization and increasing interlinkages among economy, environment and society, no country is alone. A harmonious society ultimately depends on harmonious world. We are approaching the important global climate change summit in Copenhagen. China has demonstrated its ability to act and willing-ness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions announced by President Hu Jintao in New York in September. In order to get green-house gas emission reduction take place most effectively, it is crucial that mechanisms are put in place, allowing the maximum cooperation between OECD countries and countries such as China on clean energy development. At the same time, China already has impressive experience and important role to play in helping less developed nations marry economic development with sustainable growth. China now is a global player with global responsibilities. Minister of Environmental Protection Mr. Zhou is absolutely correct when he often stresses that development presupposes a stable environment and maintaining nature's resource base and capacity that ab-sorb pollution. I am impressed when I say that China is contributing proactively and constructively to tackle the inter-linked challenges of continued economic growth while ensuring environmental integrity and sustainability. Now the work needs to continue to find practical solutions. I am proud to be part of the Council and to support and learn China's continued efforts to ensure long term prosperity for all.

  Thank you!

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