Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Paris Conference on Climate Change
Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
Paris, November 30, 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are gathering here in Paris for the opening ceremony of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Our presence shows that terrorism cannot hold back mankind's efforts to address climate change and pursue a better future. Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere sympathy to the French people and my gratitude to President Hollande and the French government for their meticulous preparations for this conference.
Thanks to joint efforts of all parties since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force over 20 years ago, global actions on climate change have made progress although there are still numerous difficulties and challenges. This Paris Conference is hence convened to strengthen implementation of the UNFCCC and bring about a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and binding agreement on climate change. The conference is also expected to come up with equitable, reasonable and effective global solutions to climate change and explore pathways and governance models for mankind to achieve sustainable development. The French writer Victor Hugo once observed in Les Miserables that "supreme resources spring from extreme resolutions." (Les resources supremes sortent des resolutions extremes.) I believe that with all parties making joint efforts with sincerity and confidence, the Paris Conference will yield satisfying results and meet the high expectations of the international community.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A successful international agreement should not just address immediate challenges but more importantly, it should also present a vision for the future. The Paris agreement should focus on strengthening post-2020 global actions on climate change and boost global efforts to pursue sustainable development.
—The Paris agreement should help meet the goals of the UNFCCC and chart the course for green development. The agreement should follow the principles and rules set out in the UNFCCC and contribute to its full and effective implementation. The agreement should put effective control on the increase of atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and set up incentive mechanisms to encourage countries to purse green, circular and low-carbon development featuring both economic growth and an effective response to climate change.
—The Paris agreement should help galvanize global efforts and encourage broad participation. The agreement should provide institutional arrangements that propel countries to make concerted efforts. Besides governments, it should also mobilize businesses, non-governmental organizations and all players in society to participate in international cooperation on climate change, thus raising public awareness of pooling resources on climate change.
—The Paris agreement should help increase input of resources to ensure actions on climate change. To obtain financial and technical support for capacity building is essential for developing countries to address climate change. Developed countries should honor their commitment of mobilizing US$100 billion each year before 2020 and provide stronger financial support to developing countries afterwards. It is also important that climate-friendly technologies should be transferred to developing countries to help them build green economy.
—The Paris agreement should accommodate the national conditions of various countries and lay emphasis on practical results. It is imperative to respect differences among countries, especially developing countries, in domestic policies, capacity building and economic structure. A one-size-fits-all approach must be avoided. Addressing climate change should not deny the legitimate needs of developing countries to reduce poverty and improve their people's living Standards. Special needs of the developing countries must be well attended to.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Paris Conference is not the finishing line but a new starting point. As an important part of global governance, the global efforts on climate change can be taken as a mirror for us to reflect on what models to have for future global governance and how to build a community of shared future for mankind. Much valuable inspiration may thus be drawn.
—We should create a future of win-win cooperation, with each country making contribution to the best of its ability. For global issues like climate change, a take-more-give-less approach based on expediency is in nobody's interest. The Paris Conference should reject the narrow-minded mentality of "zero sum game" and call on all countries, the developed countries in particular, to assume more shared responsibilities for win-win outcomes.
—We should create a future of the rule of law, fairness and justice. It is imperative to enhance the standing and role of international law in global governance, ensure effective observance and implementation of international rules, uphold democracy, equity and justice, and build international rule of law. Given the difference between developed and developing countries in historical responsibility, developing stage and coping capability, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, instead of being obsolete, must continue to be adhered to.
—We should create a future of inclusiveness, mutual learning and common development. Facing global challenges, countries need to increase dialogue and exchange best practices. We should draw on each other's strengths to achieve common development through mutual learning, and deliver benefits to all our people. At the same time, we should be prepared to accept harmony without uniformity, allowing individual countries to seek their own solutions that best suit their respective national conditions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China has been actively engaged in the global campaign on climate change. China is both sincere and determined to contribute its share to the success of the Paris Conference.
In the past few decades, China has seen rapid economic growth and significant improvement in people's lives. However, this has taken a toll on the environment and resources. Having learned the lesson, China is vigorously making ecological endeavors to promote green, circular and low-carbon growth. We have integrated our climate change efforts into China's medium- and long-term program of economic and social development. We attach equal importance to mitigation and adaption, and try to make progress on all fronts by resorting to legal and administrative means, technologies and market forces. China's installed capacity of renewable energy accounts for 24 percent of the world's total, with the newly installed capacity accounting for 42 percent of the global total. China tops the world in terms of energy conservation and utilization of new and renewable energies.
"All things live in harmony and grow with nourishments." Chinese culture values harmony between man and nature and respects nature. Going forward, ecological endeavors will feature prominently in China's 13th Five-Year Plan. China will work hard to implement the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development. China will, on the basis of technological and institutional innovation, adopt new policy measures to improve industrial mix, build low-carbon energy system, develop green building and low-carbon transportation, and build a nation-wide carbon emission trading market so as to foster a new pattern of modernization featuring harmony between man and nature. In its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, China pledges to peak CO2 emissions by around 2030 and strive to achieve it as soon as possible, and by 2030, reduce CO2 per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent over the 2005 level, raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to about 20 percent and increase forest stock by around 4.5 billion cubic meters over 2005. This requires strenuous efforts, but we have confidence and resolve to fulfill our commitments.
China upholds the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, and takes an active part in international cooperation on climate change. Over the years, the Chinese government has earnestly fulfilled its policy commitments of South-South cooperation regarding climate change to support developing countries, especially the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states, in confronting the challenge of climate change. In a show of greater support, China announced in September the establishment of an RMB 20 billion South-South Climate Cooperation Fund. Next year, China will launch cooperation projects to set up 10 pilot low-carbon industrial parks and start 100 mitigation and adaptation programs in other developing countries and provide them with 1,000 training opportunities on climate change. China will continue to promote international cooperation in such areas as clean energy, disaster prevention and mitigation, ecological protection, climate-smart agriculture, and low-carbon and smart cities. China will also help other developing countries to increase their financing capacity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind. All eyes are now on Paris. Let us join hands to contribute to the establishment of an equitable and effective global mechanism on climate change, work for global sustainable development at a higher level and bring about new international relations featuring win-win cooperation.