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UN Climate Action Summit: China’s Position and Action
Source: Department of Climate Change2019-09-17
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  China appreciates and supports UN Secretary-General Guterres's initiative to hold the UN Climate Action Summit.

   China has always attached great importance to addressing climate change. Upholding a national strategy of attaching equal importance to mitigation and adaptation, China has regarded addressing climate change as a great opportunity to achieve high-quality economic development and promote ecological progress. China will continue, as always, to firmly implement the Paris Agreement, fully honor its commitments, promote the establishment of an equitable, rational, and win-win global climate governance mechanism, and work with others to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

  China firmly upholds multilateralism and has always been an active participant in and defender of the multilateral efforts to address climate change. China takes the position that all parties should earnestly implement the principles and spirit of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, including the principles of equitable, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and execute the institutional arrangement of nationally determined contributions. In particular, the developed countries should implement and strengthen their commitments to providing financial and technological assistance to developing countries, opening markets and carrying out practical technological cooperation, thus creating the basis for mutual trust and important conditions for comprehensive and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

  As a co-lead of the Nature-Based Solution, China is ready to work together with all parties to help bring about positive outcomes at this Summit, thus injecting robust political impetus into international cooperation on addressing climate change and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

  1. Nature-Based Solutions

  Man and nature form a community of life. Human beings must respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it. As a co-lead of NBS, China actively pushes for all parties to systematically understand the relationship between human beings and nature, fully recognize the ecological value of earth on which human beings live, rely on natural forces to deal with the risks posed by climate change, and foster a low-emission and climate-resilient society.

  China has actively promoted efforts to address climate change in the areas of biodiversity, forestry and grassland, agriculture, oceans and water resources. With regard to biodiversity, ecological red lines are identified to effectively protect biodiversity and mitigate the impact of climate change. In the context of forestry and grassland, we have made solid progress in the nation-wide land greening campaign, and have increased forest, grassland and wetland resources, and enhanced the ecosystem’s functions; we have also comprehensively strengthened the conservation of resources, enhanced the prevention and control of disasters, and made concerted efforts to increase carbon sinks. In agriculture, the use of chemical fertilizers has achieved negative growth ahead of schedule, the comprehensive utilization rate of livestock and poultry waste and straws has increased significantly, and biomass energy has developed rapidly. With regard to oceans, we have organized monitoring and assessment on sea level rise, supported blue carbon researches and pilot projects, and carried out marine ecosystems restoration. In the field of water resources, measures for climate change adaptation include improving the flood control, drought relief and disaster mitigation system, optimizing water resources allocation, strengthening the building of a water-saving society, and comprehensively implementing the River&Lake Chief System.

  China expects all parties to actively support the work in the field of the NBS, participate in the establishment of a Group of Friends for NBS, promote the incorporation of the NBS into the "Global Biodiversity Framework 2020", give full consideration to the potential of natural system in facilitating mitigation and adaptation while making policy decisions on climate change, and take practical actions in the related areas to deepen international and regional cooperation.

  2. Social & Political Drivers

  Advancing ecological progress is vital for the sustained development of the Chinese nation. China has made important contributions in the area of climate change by upholding the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, implementing the basic national policy of protecting the environment, adopting the holistic approach of conserving the mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes and grasslands as well as the strictest systems for ecological and environmental protection.

  China has proposed the Climate Action Targets for 2020 and 2030, implemented China’s National Plan on Climate Change (2014-2020), stepped up efforts to establish a legal and policy framework that promotes green production and consumption, fostered a sound economic structure that facilitates green, low-carbon, and circular development, established regulatory agencies to manage state-owned natural resource assets and monitor natural ecosystems, and established an environmental and climate governance system in which government takes the lead, enterprises assume main responsibility, and social organizations and the public also participate. China actively fulfills the commitments on emissions reduction and strengthens climate adaptation.

  When formulating, implementing and assessing climate change policies, programs and projects, China takes the needs, aspirations and roles of women into full consideration, attaches great importance to increasing their voice and encourages their full and equal participation. China continues the campaign to prevent and control air pollution and make our skies blue again. China also carries out the mechanisms of impacts and adaptation of climate change on human health, strengthens the prevention and control of diseases that are closely related to climate change and enhances health emergency protection on climate change. Efforts have been made to relocate employees in the steel and coal industry. Since 2016, more than 1.2 million employees in this industry laid off due to overcapacity have been properly relocated.

  China is willing to work with all parties to strengthen policy support and social policy incentives, strengthen global action to address climate change, and play a positive role in promoting the comprehensive and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.

  3. Youth & Mobilization

  Young people are the future of a country and should be active champions, participants and promoters of climate efforts.

  China values, encourages and supports the important role of young people in ecological protection and climate action. We have been actively raising their awareness of ecological civilization and advocating a frugal, moderate, green and low-carbon lifestyle. We have carried out online and offline activities, such as Buy No More Than You Need, Say No To Plastic Bags and Empty Dishes Action. We have launched various promotion activities such as the "Beautiful China, I am an Actor" thematic activity, environmental protection education in school, youth environmental protection cultural festivals, environmental protection competitions, debates and photography contests, with more than 50 million young people participating in these activities in 2018. From 1999 to the end of 2018, by carrying out Mother River Protection Operation,we raised RMB 600 million to build over 5,700 green projects, covering more than 3,467 square kilometers and attracting more than 600 million young people. Through international cooperation, for example, over 98.32 million trees were planted across China and around 20,000 young people overseas participated in the events. China also attaches importance to helping youth environmental protection organizations with their capacity building. In 2018, we cultivated over 20,000 young leaders for youth environmental groups of all levels and established youth environmental protection voluntary teams, tree planting youth teams and environmental protection promotion teams.

  On the occasion of the Climate Action Summit and the Youth Summit, China expects young people and youth organizations around the world to share at the summit their best practices and latest achievements on youth engagement in climate action. We also call on governments to educate young people about environmental protection, listen to the suggestions of the youth, support young people in participating in climate action, and facilitate their employment and entrepreneurship in related areas.

  4. Energy Transition

  As the world's largest renewable energy producer and consumer, China pays high attention to the important effects of energy transition on tackling climate change and vigorously promotes energy transition. China promotes energy consumption revolution, energy supply revolution, energy technology revo1ution, energy system revolution, and all-round energy security strategy in enhancing international cooperation, so as to make positive contributions to global climate change mitigation and adaptation.

  China adheres to building a cleaner and lower carbon energy system, promoting renewable energy development, prioritizing energy conservation, implementing the dual cap policies (total energy consumption cap and energy intensity cap) during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), and upgrading clean energy equipment manufacturing technologies. In 2018, China's total installed power capacity of renewables exceeded 728 GW, including 352 GW of hydropower, 184 GW of wind power and 174 GW of solar PV. Clean energy accounted for 22.1% in the total energy consumption mix, or 7.6 percentage point higher than that of 2012. Coal accounted for about 59% in the total energy consumption mix, or 9.5 percentage point lower than that of 2012. The installed capacity of non-fossil power accounted for nearly 40% of the total installed capacity, and the power generation of non-fossil energy accounted for 30% of the total power generation. Energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) was cumulatively 23% lower than that of 2012. The power supply coal consumption of China’s coal-fired power units with a capacity of or over 6,000 kW was 308 gce per kWh, or 17 gce lower than that of 2012. By 2018, China had phased out more than 800 million tons of coal production capacity. In recent years, China has closed down over 110 GW of small coal-fired power units with high pollution and low efficiency.

  In the coming future, Chins will continue to enhance cooperation with other countries in the energy field to build a clean, low carbon, safe and efficient energy system together, to promote sustainable energy development worldwide and to safeguard global energy security.

  5. Industrial Transformation

  China attaches great importance to the positive role of the industrial sector in combating climate change. It has clearly identified the approaches, objectives and tasks for the industrial sector to tackle climate change and vigorously promotes green and low carbon transformation of the sector.

  China has been active in strengthening industrial energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Official recommendation has been released on 728 industrial energy-saving technologies and pieces of equipment together with efforts to promote their application for higher energy efficiency. A total of 715 industrial energy efficiency and green standards have been developed. Supervision on industrial energy efficiency is strengthened, and businesses are urged to implement mandatory energy-saving standards. Vigorous actions have been taken to develop low-carbon industries, including energy-saving and new-energy vehicle industry. By June 2019, the new energy fleet in China reached 3.44 million vehicles while photovoltaic, wind power and other new energy equipment became internationally comparable. Active efforts have also been made to enable a production pattern featuring intensive layout of factories, hazard-free raw materials, clean production, recyclable waste, low-carbon energy and green industries and to build a green manufacturing system with 800 green factories, 79 green industrial campuses, 40 model enterprises for green supply chain management, and 726 kinds of green designed products. From 2016 to 2018, energy consumption per unit of industrial added value by enterprises above designated scale nationwide dropped by over 13%, saving an equivalent of 400 million tons of standard coal while reducing 1 billion tons of CO2 emission.

  China stands ready to work with all parities to accelerate green and low-carbon transformation, promote green manufacturing comprehensively, further innovate green technologies and enhance industrial energy efficiency and carbon reduction so that the industrial sector can be more empowered to address climate change.

  6. Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action

  Taking climate action, energy conservation and emission reduction as important components of building a beautiful China and beautiful cities, China makes great efforts to accelerate the building of climate adaptive cities, promote sponge city development, ecological restoration and urban renovation, increase urban greenways and public parks, enhance climate change mitigation in buildings and energy conservation and emission reduction in the urban development sector, and improve residential building energy-saving standards and energy-saving levels for buildings. By the end of 2018, a total of 538 cities made special plans for building a "sponge city" , and more than 4,900 projects were completed in 30 pilot sponge cities, which played an important role in flood control and mitigation of damages caused extreme weather, and a total of 56,000 kilometers of greenways and 7,240,000 hectares of park green land were built in China. The living environment in urban areas has been greatly improved.

  China actively strengthens local action to address climate change, and develops low carbon pilot projects in provinces and cities. According to the development stages, resource endowments and progress in ecological protection, China categorizes the target of carbon emission in each province, establishing related mechanism to ensure the realization of the goal. China incorporates low-carbon development into the system of poverty alleviation and formulates differential support policies and evaluation index systems to support low-carbon development in poor areas.

  China formulates the environmental protection standards and norms of infrastructure construction. Taking green development as a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative, China strengthens the guarantee for ecological environment quality, improves service and support for ecological and environmental protection of major "Belt and Road" infrastructure projects. China also promotes energy-saving and environmental protection standards and practices in industries like green transportation, green building and clean energy.

  Guided by the vision of green development, China looks forward to strengthening cooperation and sharing of experience with other countries in fields of local climate action, green infrastructure development, and climate adaptive cities development, and meet the challenge of climate change through concerted efforts.

  7. Mitigation Strategy

  China attaches great importance to addressing climate change and takes green and low-carbon development as an important part of the efforts to advance ecological progress. China makes significant contributions to global climate action.

  China takes the targets of emission intensity reduction, forest coverage and stock volume as binding indicators, and has incorporated them into the five-year plan for national economic and social development and delegated the tasks for local implementation. In recent years, China's carbon emission intensity has continued to decline. By the end of 2018, its carbon emission intensity had decreased by 45.8% compared with the level in 2005, basically reversing the rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions. The forest coverage rate reached 22.96% and the forest stock volume increased by 4.56 billion cubic meters over the level in 2005. From 2016 to 2018, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 11.35%, saving about 540 million tons of standard coal equivalent. This laid a solid foundation for the realization of the targets of the 13th Five-Year Plan on controlling greenhouse gas emissions and the 2030 targets of our nationally determined contributions.

  China has carried out national low carbon pilot projects in 6 provinces and 81 cities. We actively carry out pilot projects in low-carbon industrial parks, low-carbon cities (towns) and low-carbon communities. We also promote the implementation of demonstration projects in near-zero carbon emission areas and explore low-carbon development paths. At present, 73 pilot provinces and cities have proposed their peaking targets. The pilot provinces have accelerated the use of low-carbon technologies to upgrade traditional industries, popularized green low-carbon products, promoted local economic quality and efficiency, and enhanced the level of green development.

  China is willing to strengthen its communication with all other parties in the implementation of nationally determined contributions and the formulation of mid-to- long term climate strategy. We will also deepen practical cooperation in the aspects of standard system for greenhouse gas emissions control and capacity building, and jointly promote the green and low-carbon transition of the economic and social development .

  8. Resilience & Adaptation

  China attaches importance to both mitigation and adaptation. The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy has been formulated as part of the efforts to actively adapt to climate change. Based on the people-oriented principle, China has strengthened technological support, integrated adaptation into economic and social development and comprehensively strengthened adaptation actions in climate-sensitive and vulnerable areas and for relevant regions and groups, thus thoroughly improving public awareness of adaptation, and enhancing resilience and adaptability.

  China has actively strengthened disaster and risk management, improved the monitoring, early warning and emergency system for major infrastructure-related disasters, made sound plans for construction and protection of urban lifeline systems, strengthened agricultural monitoring, early warning and disaster prevention and reduction measures, improved the adaptability of the planting industry, and provided farmers with more on adaptation technologies. China has also strengthened its water resources protection and soil erosion control, built a water-saving society and improved flood control and disaster relief systems. China has rationally planned offshore development activities and strengthened coastal ecological restoration, vegetation protection and marine disaster monitoring and early warning. China has formulated the Action Plan for Forestry to Adapt to Climate Change (2016-2020), which aims to strengthen the sustainable management of forests, effectively control forest disasters, promote a virtuous cycle of grassland ecology, improve the network of nature reserves, and strengthen ecological protection and governance. China has formulated the Action Plan for Urban Adaptation to Climate Change, and carried out pilot projects in 28 cities. In 2018, as one of the sponsors, China set up the Global Adaptation Committee and supported the launch of Global Adaptation Center's China Office to actively promote international cooperation on climate change adaptation.

  China will keep on its actions in strengthening climate adaptation and expand the relative international cooperation. It will continue policy communications with all stakeholders in climate change adaptation in order to build a climate adaptive society together.

  9. Climate Finance & Carbon Pricing

  Climate finance is one of the mayor aspects of effective tackling of climate change. As the largest developing country, China is also entitled to funds support. China urges the developed countries to honor the commitment of US$ 100 billion allocation each year from 2020 on to support the developing world in addressing climate change.

  China focuses on its goal of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to actively guide and promote the flow of more capital toward climate action. China is enthusiastically deepening its pragmatic cooperation with multilateral institutions including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and promoting the climate financing activities of institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund and Chinese banks, and helping the participating countries of the Belt and Road Initiative to gain a win-win outcome in terms of both addressing climate change and embracing economic growth.

  China will implement the carbon emission trading system as one of the major policies for greenhouse gas emission control, promote low-carbon development, and carry out the exploration for pilot of trading quota carbon emission right. By June 2019, 7 pilot regions had seen a total trading quota of about 330 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or around RMB 7.1 billion yuan. Major emitters in pilot regions show a high compliance rate as a whole and the pilot regions see a tendency of reduction both in total carbon emission and in carbon intensity.

  China will continue to make contribution to global climate financing to the best of its ability and promote the fostering of a national carbon market. China will strengthen its exchanges and cooperation with various parties in terms of policies and rules of carbon market development, quota management, and capacity building. China is willing to work with various parties to complete the negotiations on market mechanisms and non-market mechanisms as mentioned in Article VI of the Paris Agreement, at the Santiago UN Climate Change Conference.