China has worked actively and seriously to tackle global climate change and build capacity to respond to it. We believe that every country has a stake in dealing with climate change and every country has a responsibility for the safety of our planet. China is at a critical stage of building a moderately prosperous society on all fronts, and a key stage of accelerated industrialization and urbanization. Yet, despite the huge task of developing the economy and improving people's lives, we have joined global actions to tackle climate change with the utmost resolve and a most active attitude, and have acted in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities established by the United Nations. China voluntarily stepped up efforts to eliminate backward capacity in 2007, and has since closed a large number of heavily polluting small coal-fired power plants, small coal mines and enterprises in the steel, cement, paper-making, chemical and printing and dyeing sectors. Moreover, in 2009, China played a positive role in the success of the Copenhagen conference on climate change and the ultimate conclusion of the Copenhagen Accord. In keeping with the requirements of the Copenhagen Accord, we have provided the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with information on China's voluntary actions on emissions reduction and joined the list of countries supporting the Copenhagen Accord.
The targets released by China last year for greenhouse gas emissions control require that by 2020, CO2 emissions per unit of GDP should go down by 40 percent - 45 percent from the 2005 level, non-fossil energy should make up about 15 percent of primary energy consumption, and forest coverage should increase by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters, both from the 2005 level. The measure to lower energy consumption alone will help save 620 million tons of standard coal in energy consumption in the next five years, which will be equivalent to the reduction of 1.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions. This is what China has done to step up the shift in economic development mode and economic restructuring. It contributes positively to Asia's and the global effort to tackle climate change.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Green and sustainable development represents the trend of our times. To achieve green and sustainable development in Asia and beyond and ensure the sustainable development of resources and the environment such as the air, fresh water, ocean, land and forest, which are all vital to human survival, we countries in Asia should strive to balance economic growth, social development and environmental protection. To that end, we wish to work with other Asian countries and make further efforts in the following six areas.
First, shift development mode and strive for green development. To accelerate the shift in economic development mode and economic restructuring provides an important precondition for our efforts to actively respond to climate change, achieve green development and secure the sustainable development of the population, resources and the environment. It is the shared responsibility of governments and enterprises of all countries in Asia and around the world. We should actively promote a conservation culture and raise awareness for environmental protection. We need to make sure that the concept of green development, green consumption and a green lifestyle and the commitment to taking good care of planet Earth, our common home, will be embedded in the life of every citizen in society.
Second, value the importance of science and technology as the backing of innovation and development. We Asian countries have a long way to go before we reach the advanced level in high-tech-powered energy consumption reduction and improvement of energy and resource efficiency. Yet, this means we have a huge potential to catch up. It is imperative for us to quicken the pace of low-carbon technology development, promote energy efficient technologies and raise the proportion of new and renewable energies in our energy mix so as to provide a strong scientific and technological backing for green and sustainable development of Asian countries. As for developed countries, they should facilitate technology transfer and share technologies with developing countries on the basis of proper protection of intellectual property rights.
Third, open wider to the outside world and realize harmonious development. In such an open world as ours, development of Asian countries and development of the world are simply inseparable. It is important that we open our markets even wider, firmly oppose and resist protectionism in all forms and uphold a fair, free and open global trade and investment system. At the same time, we should give full play to the role of regional and sub-regional dialogue and cooperation mechanisms in Asia to promote harmonious and sustainable development of Asia and the world.
Fourth, strengthen cooperation and sustain common development. Pragmatic, mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation is a sure choice of all Asian countries if we are to realize sustainable development. No country could stay away from or manage to meet on its own severe challenges like the international financial crisis, climate change and energy and resources security. We should continue to strengthen macro-economic policy coordination and vigorously promote international cooperation in emerging industries, especially in energy conservation, emissions reduction, environmental protection and development of new energy sources to jointly promote sustainable development of the Asian economy and the world economy as a whole.
Fifth, work vigorously to eradicate poverty and gradually achieve balanced development. A major root cause for the loss of balance in the world economy is the seriously uneven development between the North and the South. Today, 900 million people in Asia, or roughly one fourth of the entire Asian population, are living below the $1.25-a-day poverty line. We call for greater efforts to improve the international mechanisms designed to promote balanced development, and to scale up assistance from developed countries to developing countries, strengthen South-South cooperation, North-South cooperation and facilitate attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals. This will ensure that sustainable development brings real benefits to poor regions, poor countries and poor peoples.
Sixth, bring forth more talents to promote comprehensive development. The ultimate goal of green and sustainable development is to improve people's living environment, better their lives and promote their comprehensive development. Success in this regard depends, to a large extent, on the emergence of talents with an innovative spirit. We need to build institutions, mechanisms and a social environment to help people bring out the best of their talents, and to intensify education and training of professionals of various kinds. This will ensure that as Asia achieves green and sustainable development, our people will enjoy comprehensive development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We demonstrated solidarity as we rose up together to the international financial crisis in 2009. Let us carry forward this great spirit, build up consensus, strengthen unity and cooperation and explore a path of green and sustainable development. This benefits Asia. It benefits the world, too.
In conclusion, I wish this annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia a complete success.