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H.E. Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the Mission of China to EU on New Europe

Develop Green Economy for a Better Future

The Chinese government is fully committed to resource conservation and environment protection. With sustainable development as one of its national development strategy, China has made enormous progress in environmental undertakings. We have fulfilled the emission cut target for the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010) ahead of schedule, and are expecting to meet the target for energy conservation on time. By the end of last year, we have successfully reduced energy intensity of GDP by 20% off the 2005 level and major pollutant discharge by 10%. As a lower middle income economy, we have covered huge grounds on this cause, and what we have accomplished is the strong evidence of the commitment of both our people and the government to a better global environment.

Today, the development of the green economy has become a popular policy choice for governments around the world. Like many countries, China puts great energy in the developing green industry in an effort to promote more effective economic restructuring. From this year on, China will begin to implement the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), opening a new chapter for the growth of our green economy. In the proposed 12th Five Year Plan, the Chinese government will accelerate the shift of growth pattern, adjust economic structure, actively respond to global climate change, and develop circular economy. We will remain committed to a resource conserving and environment friendly society that appreciates the importance of green and low-carbon development. We will exercise stronger management of resources, intensify environment protection, incorporate green economic growth across all sectors of our national economy, and do all that we can to boost our capacity for sustainable development.

On the part of the Chinese government, we have already put in place a bunch of policies with massive investment support to promote new energy, energy conservation and environment protection. In response to the international financial crisis, the Chinese government has adopted a 4 trillion RMB Yuan stimulus package to promote domestic demand. 210 billion of this fund goes to energy conservation, emission cut and ecological engineering. We have promised that by 2020, we will cut carbon intensity per unit of GDP by 40-45% off the 2005 level, and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in the primary energy consumption to around 15%. We plan to increase the forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters and the forest coverage by 40 million hectares, equivalent to the size of ten plus Belgiums.

The development of green economy benefits not only China, but also the whole world. As the pressure for energy, resources and environment continues to push up around the world, efforts of China to grow green economy will help promote rational distribution and use of global resources. We are confident that through balancing the interests of different regions, pursuing sustainable use of resources, and constantly improving ecological environment, we will be able to bring about healthy recovery and sustainable growth of the world economy. China is a responsible member of the international community. Our engagement and efforts at the Copenhagen Conference and Cancun Conference are the best proof. In the Durban Conference, China will continue to work together with all other countries to promote international cooperation in meeting climate change.

Both China and the EU have made environment protection and green economy part of our future development strategy. Such an idea provides us with enormous prospect for cooperation. The EU 2020 Strategy and China’s 12th Five Year Plan share a lot of similar grounds. For instance, there is huge opportunity and potential for our cooperation in the development of green economy. Europe has been the forerunner of green energy resources and is home to the world’s largest green industry. Europe has advanced technologies, while for China, we need advanced technologies. More importantly, we have a rapidly growing market for environment protection industry, which will soon become the world’s biggest. If China and Europe could cooperate in this area, we can give full play to the complementarity of our industries, promote favorable engagement, and achieve win-win progress as we jointly pursue green growth. In fact, the ship of our cooperation has already gone out sailing. Last year, as a signature project of our cooperation, we have jointly launched the China-EU Clean Energy Center. We look forward to strengthening ties with our European counterparts. And we are fully confident that green economy will grow into another highlight of China-EU cooperation.

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