A dialogue on climate and biodiversity was held online by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) on March 30. Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of China and Chinese Executive Vice-Chairperson of the CCICED, presided over the meeting and delivered a speech.
Huang said that the Chinese government has always attached great importance to the work on climate change and biodiversity conservation. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020 that China aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. The commitment shows the nation's sense of responsibility as a major country.
The Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 was passed at The Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) after deliberation. In the outline, arrangements are made on promoting green development and ensuring harmony between humanity and nature, highlights important tasks related to the fight against climate change, the establishment of a system of protected areas and the implementation of major biodiversity conservation projects, and provides a guideline for further deepening of relevant works.
Huang stressed that it is a profound and complicated transformation of the social and economic system to realize the targets of having CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. China has integrated promotion of high-quality development with its efforts to peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality, made coordinated efforts to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, and comprehensively strengthened measures to deal with climate change and protect the ecological environment.
Apart from actively participating in international cooperation in climate-related fields, China has been formulating an action plan for peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and accelerating the development of the carbon emissions trading system. Biodiversity conservation is not only a foundation but also an objective and measure to achieve sustainable development. The 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will be held in Kunming, capital city of Southwest China's Yunnan Province this October. China will give full play to its responsibility and role as the host country, and work to elevate global biodiversity management into a new height.
CCICED has been committed to becoming a high-level international think tank and creating a two-way exchange platform and has played unique and important roles in China's sustainable development since it was founded in 1992, said Huang in his address. He hoped that all attendees will continually support the CCICED's work and make united efforts to assist it in playing a bigger role in the building of a clean and beautiful world in the future.
Other speakers at the conference included Liu Shijin, Chinese Chief Advisor of CCICED and Deputy Director of the Committee on Economic Affairs under the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, and Scott Vaughan, International Chief Advisor of CCICED and former President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Participants at the meetings held talks on carbon neutrality, COP15 and biodiversity conservation, integrating the climate and nature agendas, and other relevant topics.
Those spoke at the event were CCICED Members including Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University; Richard Florizone, President and CEO of the IISD; Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation; Naoko Ishii, former CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Marco Lambertini, Director-General of the World Wide Fund for Nature; Michael McElroy, professor in environmental science with Harvard University; Kathleen McLaughlin, President of Walmart Foundation; Jennifer Morris, CEO of the Nature Conservancy; Gwen Ruta, Executive Vice-President of Environmental Defense Fund; Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute; Jan-Gunnar Winther, Director of Norwegian Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic; and special advisors including Mr. Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of World Resources Institute; Mr. Dominic Waughray, Managing Director and Head of Centre for Global Public Goods of World Economic Forum, as well as Mr. Harvey Locke, CCICED Biodiversity SPS expert and IUCN WCPA Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force.
And those in attendance at the event include representatives of the CCICED's partners: the Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, GIZ, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, World Economic Forum, Georgetown University, World Resources Institute, World Wide Fund for Nature, the Delegation of the European Union to China, Walmart China, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
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