China’s development faces uncertainty amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and a global recession, but the economic and social fallout will not derail the country’s efforts to push green development.

The Chinese government has pledged to further reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product and the discharge of major pollutants this year, as declared in the government work report, showing an ability to strike a balance between development and environmental protection.

Such a move is encouraging for a world grappling with climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity.

China will not allow the red line of ecological protection to be crossed or relax regulations because development is facing difficulties. Otherwise, the progress achieved over years of arduous efforts would be futile.

In its battle with pollution, China has been making changes to the industrial edifice, effecting the transformation to development with a low carbon footprint, promoting a green lifestyle, and providing the public with more eco-friendly products.

The country has also been an active participant in global climate governance, pledging 20 billion yuan (2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund dedicated to help other developing countries combat climate change.

China is fully meeting its commitment to nationally-determined contributions on climate change under the Paris climate agreement and also helping advance green development in the Belt & Road Initiative.

Practices undertaken by China have shown that development and environmental protection are not contradictory but complementary.

The country is one in believing that clear waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and improving the environment leads to increased productivity. To put it simply, green is gold.

In the following years, China will see ramped up efforts to control air pollution, construction of more sewage and garbage treatment facilities, faster relocation and transformation of producers of hazardous chemical products in densely populated areas, and the development of energy-saving industries.

The World Environment Day is being observed Friday with the theme of biodiversity. It is a call to all sections of the global community to rally behind efforts to make the planet a better place to live in. China, with the joint efforts of its 1.4 billion people, is definitely part of the endeavour to build a greener and better future for all.