On January 27, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian presided over a regular Foreign Ministry press conference.
At the press conference, a reporter asked: the new U.S. government has listed climate change as one of its priorities and announced that it will return to the Paris Agreement. At the same time, there are some voices in the United States that China’s climate action is not strong enough. What’s your response?
Spokesman Zhao Lijian: last year, China successively announced a series of major climate policies, proposing four new measures, including carbon intensity, proportion of non fossil energy, forest stock, total installed capacity of wind power and solar power generation, to strive to reach the peak of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve the vision of carbon neutrality by 2060. The above-mentioned climate policies are China’s greatest efforts in accordance with its national conditions and capabilities. They show the “maximum intensity of reflection” required by the Paris Agreement, and reflect China’s firm determination to actively respond to climate change and promote the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind. They are China’s new contribution to the global climate change process and are widely praised by the international community.
How strong is China’s climate action? Let me give you two simple examples. First, as the largest developing country in the world, China’s carbon neutral target is only 10 years later than that of major developed countries. Second, from the perspective of time span, the transition period for most developed countries from reaching the peak to making the 2050 carbon neutral commitment is about 60 years. China is committed to reaching the peak of emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. The transition period from peak to carbon neutrality is about 30 years. No comparison, no identification. The contrast between 60 years and 30 years highlights the strength of China’s commitment and action. To achieve this goal, China needs to make extremely hard efforts.
The United States is the world’s largest emitter in history and the largest emitter at present. The previous government’s climate action seriously regressed, withdrew from the Paris Agreement, refused to undertake the obligation of emission reduction funding, which seriously weakened the ambition and efforts of international cooperation to deal with climate change. China expects the United States to make up for the four-year hiatus and vacancy as soon as possible, and submit a strong national independent contribution and long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy under the Paris Agreement as soon as possible, so that the international community can feel the seriousness of the US government’s response to climate change. To truly realize the objectives of the Paris Agreement, we need revolutionary technological innovation and breakthroughs, and we need all countries to carry out joint action and deepen cooperation under the multilateral framework. The door of China’s dialogue and cooperation will always be open.