A World Meteorological Organisation study published last week found that levels of heat trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have hit another record high.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters are hitting more and more parts of the world, from raging wildfires in Australia, the United States, and even in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, to stronger hurricanes and record-breaking cold snaps. It’s clear that action is needed now more than ever to turn the tide of climate change.
The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, which kicked off in the Spanish capital of Madrid on Monday, provides a new chance for the international community to form a stronger consensus on how to tackle our climate crisis.
Prior to the 12-day international climate conference, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment said China by 2018 had slashed carbon intensity, or the number of carbon emissions produced per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), by 45.8 percent from 2005 levels, meeting the target of a 40-to-45 percent decrease by 2020 ahead of schedule.
While China has done its part, coping with the climate challenge demands a global commitment at this “point of no return” on global warming, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned.
China has reiterated its support for such global climate pacts as the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, and has worked actively to fulfil its commitments in line with its level of development and national condition.
The amount of non-fossil fuels used in China’s primary energy consumption stood at 14.3 percent at the end of last year. And according to satellite data from the U.S. space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration, China is also “leading the world” in “greening” its landscape, contributing to about a quarter of the world’s new vegetation since 2000.
As the world’s biggest developing country, China has fought hard to phase out backward industrial capacity, tackle pollution, reduce the burning of coal, and optimise its energy consumption structure.
China also takes an active part in international cooperation in climate change. Over the years, the Chinese government has earnestly fulfilled its policy commitments to South-South cooperation regarding climate change, supporting developing countries.
Beijing has established an international green development coalition under the China-proposed Belt & Road Initiative and has launched cooperation projects to set up pilot low-carbon industrial parks in Cambodia, Laos, Kenya and other developing countries.
Looking ahead, China will continue to do what it can on climate change as a responsible major country. And as nations of the world gather in Madrid to discuss one of the most pressing dangers facing humanity, the world needs not only a clarion call for more action but also real input from everyone.