The Fifth Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City (ILCC) Forum was held on September 7th in Shenzhen. Over 1800 persons attended the meeting. Among them were Zhang Yong, Deputy Director of the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC); Wang Weizhong, a standing member of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of Shenzhen Municipal Committee; Lin Shaochun, a standing member of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and Executive Vice Governor; Du Xiangwan, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Honorary Director of National Committee of Experts on Climate Change; Liu Yanhua, Counselor of the State Council, Director of National Committee of Experts on Climate Change and former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology; and numerous guests, experts and media reporters from China, Germany, Italy and other countries.
Achieving Win-Win Results in Beauty and Development
Zhang Yong, Vice Director of SDRC, stated, as the largest developing country, China has attached great importance to the issue of climate change and taken the response to climate change as the significant strategy for economic and social development and the important content for boosting ecological civilization construction. Early in 2009, China put forward the target of “reducing the carbon intensity by 40%-45% by 2020”. In 2015, China put forward the goal of goal of nationally determined contributions (NDC), planning to make the carbon emissions reach the peak by around 2030 and striving to reach the peak as early as possible. China has clearly specified the medium and long-term road map of its low-carbon development, adopted powerful policies and actions for domestic response to climate and change and achieved notable results. In 2016, the non-fossil energy accounted for 13.3% of the primary energy consumption and the energy consumption and CO2 emissions per unit GDP respectively dropped by 5% and 6%, which overfulfilled the annual target and laid a solid foundation for fulfilling and even overfulfilling the drop of carbon intensity by a ceiling of 40%-45%. Currently, China hasn’t completed its urbanization and industrialization course, its economic development has stepped in the New Normal, its traditional extensive development mode hasn’t been fundamentally changed, and a variety of issues such as environmental pollution, ecological destruction and climate warming still need to be solved. The problems of imbalance, incoordination and unsustainability in economic and social development still exist. To actively handle climate change and promote green and low-carbon development is the internal need for China to realize the sustainable economic and social development, is one of the responses to implement the new development concept, is the realistic choice for improving the quality and benefits of development and deepening the supply-side structural reform, and even more, is the important reflection of fostering new development impetus and mining new economic growth points.
Wang Weizhong, a standing member of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee, emphasized, in the past five years, the energy consumption per RMB10, 000 GDP has accumulatively dropped by 19.7% in Shenzhen, and in the first half of this year, it further dropped by 5.4%, which was about one half of the national average. The water consumption per RMB10, 000 has accumulatively dropped by 30.9%, and in the first half of this year, it further dropped by 9.6%, which was about one ninth of the national average. Shenzhen’s air quality has kept at the best level among the vice provincial cities around China, and “Shenzhen Blue” has become a beautiful card. Currently, Shenzhen has classified nearly one half of its land into the basic ecological control line. Its green coverage of the built-up areas is 45.07%; it has newly constructed 140 million m2 energy-saving buildings and 60 million m2 of green buildings. It has accumulatively promoted the application of 76,000 new-energy automobiles and by the end of this year, all its 16,000 buses will become 100% electric, which ranks No.1 among the global cities. Under the guidance of green and low-carbon development, Shenzhen’s economy has maintained the situation of advancing and becoming better while keeping stable. Last year, Shenzhen’s GDP reached RMB1.9429 trillion and in the first half of this year, it increased by 8.8% on a yearly basis, recording a new high in the recent four years. Shenzhen has achieved both beauty and development, a win-win result.
According to Lin Shaochun, Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and People’s Government has fully implemented the spirit of the series of important speeches made by Secretary General Xi and his new concept of managing state affairs and persisted in taking green and low-carbon development as the important grip for promoting economic restructuring and optimization and improving the quality of development. Guangdong has fully deepened the reform of ecological civilization system, made efforts to construct the system and space layout of the green industry and vigorously advocated the green lifestyle. While maintaining the middle and high growth of economy, Guangdong has accomplished the overall improvement in the quality of ecological environment, overfulfilled the energy saving and emissions reduction target and task given by the state and ranked No.2 around China in energy consumption per unit GDP, providing a strong support for its sustaining and sound economic and social development.
As a platform for practical exchange and cooperation in the green and low-carbon field, Shenzhen ILCC Forum has been successfully held for four sessions and produced great influence at home and abroad. It has reflected China’s active actions of responding to climate change and showcased the concept and achievements of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in the green and low-carbon development. The Fifth ILCC Forum will become an important window for China to guide the global climate governance and become the Davos in the global field of climate change. In the afternoon, we’ll also hold the Third Forum on Green and Low Development of Pearl River Delta City Groups to focus on the regional cooperation in green and low-carbon development and join hands with Hong Kong and Macau to jointly forge the green and low-carbon Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which will certainly exert positive effect on the construction of the national green development demonstration area in the Pearl River Delta.
Deputy Secretary-General of the UN: Acclaim China’s Low-Carbon Development
When presiding over the opening ceremony of the Forum, Gao Zimin, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen and Secretary of Longgang District Party Committee, said, this Forum has got the attention and support from the United Nations and Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN has sent a video to express congratulations. China has accumulated lots of helpful experience in green and low-carbon development, and China is also one of the countries that have earliest set up the carbon trade market, particularly Shenzhen is worthy of admiration and acclamation in green and low-carbon development.
Du Xiangwan, Academician and former Vice Director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Honorary Director of National Committee of Experts on Climate Change, said, economic and low carbon can be won simultaneously. China’s practice has also proved that low-carbon and economic development can be won simultaneously. China’s total consumption of coal has dropped for 3 consecutive years and its energy and CO2 emissions haven’t risen for two years. This shows that economic development carbon growth have already decoupled and begun to decouple with the carbon emissions from energy. The industrial restructuring has achieves initial success and the proportion of the tertiary industry has notably increased. This shows that low carbon doesn’t restrict economic development but promotes new-type growth. As far as regions are concerned, as the PRD region early adjusted its industrial structure as well as its energy structure, it basically has no heavy haze, and now it is achieving the win-win results in low carbon and economic development.
Liu Yanhua, Counselor of the State Council, Director of National Committee of Experts on Climate Change and former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, stated, China has specified that the response to climate change is something that China will do itself and it concerns the structural adjustment, transformation and upgrading, and people’s welfare. China will not change its layout plan and long-term standpoint due to any sign of trouble because China is at the stage of structural adjustment and the new industrial revolution is about to come. China will both solve the current problems and aim at the long-term ones. China is currently carrying out structural adjustment, realizing leaping development, implementing the green development of ecological civilization and responding to climate change—all these are the important parts of those goals.
Currently, China produces the largest total amount of emissions in the world. In 2015, the amount exceeded 9 billion tons, representing the most increase. According to the UN statistics, China’s increase in carbon emissions accounted for nearly 50% of that in the world in 1990-2005and 70% in 2011. In recent years, due to China’s economic restructuring, the growth rate of CO2 has begun to drop to some extent. Besides, the momentum of growth is the most fierce and it may reach more than 10 billion tons by 2020 and may possibly exceed the total of the US + EU. Currently, the per capita level of CO2 is not low in China. It reached 5.8 tons in 2011 and may be even higher in 2030. Therefore, China faces an arduous task of carbon emissions.
According to him, China still needs to do lots of work in unfolding international cooperation. In the issue of energy, China needs to carry out the energy revolution, i.e. the energy revolution of production, consumption and scientific system and mechanism. In this aspect, China needs to solve three problems, namely, improving energy structure, increasing energy efficiency and realize the concept that green mountains are gold and silver mountains. The response to climate change is China’s own business because it is not only a scientific problem but also an economic and political problem, not only a regional problem but also a global problem, not only a past and present problem but also a long-term problem. In responding to climate change, it needs to seek the balance in energy, economy, environment and security. China’s active response to climate change is the requirement of era development and our choice.