China has achieved much progress in environmental protection and taken the lead in green development in recent years.
The efforts have exemplified Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal of “working together for a green and better future for all” made a year ago in his speech at the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing.
In the keynote speech, President Xi proposed a five point initiative on promoting green development, namely pursuing harmony between man and nature, pursuing the prosperity based on green development, fostering a passion for nature-caring lifestyle, pursuing a scientific spirit in ecological governance, and joining hands to tackle environmental challenges.
China’s hard work on environment protection has paid off.
The ecological environment has improved significantly. People are enjoying more days of blue sky, cleaner water and fertile land.
China has achieved the goal of zero growth of desertified land by 2030 set by the United Nations ahead of time. Besides, forest stock volume increased by 4.56 billion cubic meters compared with that of 2005.
Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2018 fell by 45.8 percent compared with that of 2005, exceeding the target set for the year.
After more than 30 years of hard work, the seventh largest desert in China, the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, once known as the “sea of death” difficult for birds to fly across, has turned into a green valley.
In January 2020, in a letter in reply to the student representatives of the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate, the Chinese president mentioned his thoughts about ecological civilization in his youth.
“Over four decades ago, I lived and worked for many years in a small village on the Loess Plateau in western China. Back then, the ecology and environment there was seriously damaged due to over-development and the local people were trapped in poverty as a result,” Xi wrote.
“This experience taught me that man and nature are a community of life and that the damage done to nature will ultimately hurt mankind,” said Xi.
China’s progress and achievements are recognized worldwide.
The ecological civilization and green development advocated by China are actually an endeavor to find a way to balance economic development and environmental protection, said John Cobb, Jr., the founding president of the Institute for Postmodern Development of China and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Noting that the endeavor is a remarkable exploration, he expressed his hope that it will succeed.
China is on the right path in dealing with global climate change and achieving sustainable development, said Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum.
In addition to making efforts at home, China has also rolled out a series of measures to support the global combat against climate change.
In September 2015, ahead of the Paris climate change conference, President Xi pledged 20 billion yuan (USD 3 billion) China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, which was dedicated to help other developing countries combat climate change.
China has also been fulfilling the obligations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and achieved the goal of its intended nationally determined contributions submitted to the secretariat of the Climate Change Convention as scheduled.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his appreciation for China’s important contributions to addressing the climate change and building a Green “Belt & Road,” and said he expects China to continue to play a leading role in addressing the climate change and other issues.
“Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,” a concept put forward by President Xi in 2005 when he visited Yucun Village in Southeast China’s Zhejiang Province as the Party Chief of the Province, has become the motto of the Lao Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
In March 2020, when President Xi returned to Yucun, he said that economic development should not be achieved at the expense of the ecological environment. To protect the ecological environment is to develop the productive forces, he said.
The history of civilizations shows that the rise or fall of a civilization is closely tied to its relationship with nature, President Xi said at the International Horticultural Exhibition last year.
Only by joining hands can the humankind advance a global ecological civilization and march towards the bright future of building a community with a shared future for mankind.