SCIO briefing on China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2016)

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Speaker:
Mr. Xie Zhenhua, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Chairperson:
Xi Yanchun, vice director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

Date:
Nov. 1, 2016

Xi Yanchun:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the press conference of the State Council Information Office.

The Marrakech Climate Change Conference will soon open. Today, "China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2016)" was officially published. We're pleased to have invited Mr. Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change, to introduce the report and answer your questions. Now, let's give floor to Mr. Xie.

Xie Zhenhua:

Media friends, good morning! Welcome to today's press conference on "China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2016)." Today, I see new friends, which is a good thing. It means that more and more media outlets and friends from the media circle are concerned about climate change.

The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) will be held in Marrakech, Morocco between Nov. 7 and 18. Some members from China's delegation have already set out for the meeting. Over 80 delegates from related government agencies will attend the event and negotiate around dozens of topics with each negotiator responsible for his/her respective field. As the first COP conference after the Paris Agreement takes effect, the event aims to make plans and implement what was achieved at last year's conference. It will also urge countries to meet their commitments in tackling climate change before 2020, especially the commitment of developed countries to provide US$100 billion per year to developing countries and the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions of each country in action.

A celebration marking the Paris Agreement's entering into effect and the first COP meeting on Paris Agreement will be held during the second week of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference.

The annual report released today is mainly to introduce China's progress and achievements in combating climate change since the 12th Five-Year Plan (2010-2015). The report consists of eight parts, which illustrate the policies made, actions taken and progress achieved by central and local government departments and also in various fields in mitigating climate change, adapting to climate change, pilots and demonstrations for low-carbon development, strategic planning and institutional construction, basic capability building, broad participation of society, actively promoting international negotiations as well as strengthening international exchanges and cooperation.

Before the annual COP meeting, we routinely introduce China's policies, actions and progress in combating climate change to the public and the international community. The Chinese government attaches great importance to tackling climate change. Since the 12th Five-Year Plan, it has incorporated green and low-carbon development as an important part of building ecological civilizations and as a vital opportunity to transform economic development patterns and to adjust economic structure. Thanks to its strong policy measures, China has effectively controlled greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced its capacity to adapt to climate change and achieved significant progress in many of its undertakings on this front.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China's carbon intensity decreased by 20 percent, well above its 17-percent goal. Energy structure continues to be optimized. In 2015, the proportion of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption reached 12 percent, which exceeded its original target of 11.4 percent. Forest stock raised to 15.137 billion cubic meters, achieving the goal of increasing forest stock by 2020 ahead of schedule.

Up until September 2016, a total quota of 120 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents was imposed in seven pilot carbon emissions trading markets, with an accumulated transaction volume up to more than 3.2 billion yuan. This has demonstrated China's resolve to combat climate change through tangible actions.

The Chinese government has actively participated in negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), firmly followed the principle and framework of the convention and stayed committed to the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities. China has also kept close exchanges and coordination with the United States, the European Union and other major developed countries, enhanced unity and cooperation among developing countries and played a vital role in promoting the conclusion of the historic Paris Agreement through multilateral mechanisms like the Basic countries and like-minded developing countries.

China has made vigorous efforts to help other developing countries improve their ability to adapt to climate change. By establishing the South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, the Chinese government has invested 580 million yuan on material aid and equipment to small island states, least developed countries, African countries and other developing countries. China has also given strong support to these countries in their participation in international negotiations, policy development, personnel training and other issues related to climate change. In the other developing countries, China has launched 10 low-carbon demonstration projects, 100 climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, and training courses for 1,000 experts and officials.

This is mainly what I wanted to tell you. Now, I'd like to take your questions. Thank you.

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