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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open VTC on Climate and Security

2020/07/24

Mr. President,

I welcome you to chair this meeting. I thank ASG Mr. Jenča and Colonel Magagi for their briefings. I listened attentively to the remarks by Ms. Pasisi.

Humans and nature share a community of life. What hurts nature hurts humans. Climate change poses a major obstacle to sustainable development. The outbreak of COVID-19 reminds us again that no country or individual is immune to global challenges, and solidarity and cooperation is needed most. Climate change endangers the future of humankind and requires joint efforts of us all. In this context, China wishes to stress the following:

First, we should honor commitments and effectively implement multilateral consensus on climate change. All countries should firmly support multilateralism instead of putting oneself first, implement the obligations under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, especially the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and respective capabilities, and build a fair, equitable and win-win global climate governance system. The biggest challenge facing the multilateral climate process is the significant gap of financing. Developed countries should fulfill their commitments to provide 100 billion US dollars in climate finance annually by 2020, set a new collective quantified goal, and enhance the transparency of financial support.

Second, we should prioritize development and advance the cause of sustainable development. Climate change is, in essence, a development issue rather than a security issue, there is no direct linkage between the two. Solution of climate change rests on the sustainable development. Progress on the development front is conductive to effectively addressing climate change and security risks exacerbated by climate change. The international community should give priority to development in global macroeconomic policy coordination. Countries should promote green and low-carbon transformation, and enhance resilience in the face of climate change.

Third, we should put people first, and ensure that no one and no country is left behind. African countries and small island developing states are confronted with underdevelopment, shortage of resources, and weak technology. Developed countries should actively transfer climate-friendly technologies to help developing countries enhance capacity for adaptation and mitigation and accelerate green development.

Fourth, we should encourage UN agencies to better discharge their respective responsibilities and to work in a coordinated manner to form synergy. The Secretariat of the UNFCCC, UN development system and Resident Coordinators should, in accordance with their mandates, mobilize efforts of all sides to provide targeted support for climate change response and economic and social development. The Security Council, as the body handling international peace and security issues, should act in line with the mandates of relevant resolutions, analyze security challenges and security implications of climate change for countries concerned, and discuss and handle relevant issues on a country-specific basis.

Mr. President,

China has been actively tackling climate change and implementing the Paris Agreement while fighting COVID-19 and promoting economic recovery.

——We pursue green development, put people first, and make every effort to address environmental issues to meet our people’s aspiration for a better life. China’s CO2 emission in 2018 was 45.8% lower than 2005, meeting the emission reduction target two years ahead of schedule. In 2018, the share of non-fossil fuels in China’s total energy consumption reached 14.3%. New energy vehicle ownership in China accounts for more than half of the world's total.

——We earnestly implement the basic state policy of resource conservation and environmental protection, and promote ecological progress to build a beautiful China. A quarter of the world’s newly afforested area since 2000 is in China. China is working to treat 50% of its treatable desertified land by the end of this year.

——We are vigorously promoting international climate cooperation. China is advancing the development of a green Silk Road. We jointly initiated the BRI International Green Development Coalition with the United Nations Environment Programme, and helped relevant countries develop renewable energy projects such as hydro power, wind power and PV to achieve energy transition and green development. With China’s efforts, the G20 issued its first Presidency Statement on Climate Change in 2016. For two consecutive years, China, France and the UN held trilateral high-level meetings and issued communiques on climate change, setting an example for the international community. As a co-lead of the Nature-based Solution track of the Climate Action Summit, China pushed for nearly 200 initiatives, ensuring positive outcomes of the Summit.

Mr. President,

Looking at today’s world, we can see that some country’s irresponsible and crazy act of unilateralism and bullying practice is causing greater danger. Should this go unchecked, international rule of law, equity, justice, equality and mutual trust will no longer exist, and the world will descend into absolute chaos. We must stand together and fight back. I wish to emphasize that no matter how the world may evolve, China will always side with multilateralism and international justice, firmly uphold the international order based on international law, reject hegemonism and bullying practice, and oppose self-proclaimed supremacy and power politics. China will work with other members of the international community to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, security and prosperity for all.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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