On Dec. 5, the high-level segment of the third UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 3) was held in the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. As approved by the State Council, Minister Li Ganjie headed a delegation on behalf of the Chinese Government to the event, with members from MEP, MFA, SFA, and the Chinese Mission to UNEP.
More than 4,000 delegates representing over 170 countries, international organizations, and NGOs presented at the meeting. Kenyan President Kenyatta presented and delivered opening remarks. UNEP Executive Director Erik Solhelm delivered a speech entitled “Towards a pollution-free planet”.
Minister Li made remarks with a title “Work together towards a pollution-free planet and strive to build a beautiful world”. He noted that China has made remarkable progress in ecological and environmental protection. As a result, over the passing five years, China has launched initiatives to combat air, water, and soil pollution. The mean annual PM2.5 readings of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River delta, and the Pearl River delta all dropped over 30 percent from the 2013 levels. The energy consumption per unit GDP went down 21 percent and the CO2 emission per unit GDP declined 27 percent in 2016 from the 2011 level. The percentage of acid rain suffered areas in the gross national land area has plummeted from around 30 percent, a record high, to 7.2 percent.
In addition to addressing domestic environmental concerns, we have also actively engaged in international environmental cooperation. Under the framework of the Montreal Protocol, China has phased out more than half of the ozone depleting substances eliminated altogether by developing countries during this period.
At the 19th National Congress of the CPC, General Secretary Xi Jinping sketched an exciting blueprint for ecological and environmental protection: by 2020, we will have put up an uphill battle against pollution; by 2035, the ecological environment will have been fundamentally improved, and the objective of building a beautiful China will have been met; and by the middle of this century, we will have taken ecological civilization up to new levels at all dimensions and completed the building of a beautiful China.
We will aim for a modernization drive featured with the harmony between and coexistence of man and nature and provide more quality eco-products to meet the ever-growing demand of the people for a beautiful ecological environment. We will move headways with green development, make strenuous efforts to address prominent environmental problems, step up ecosystem protection, and reform the ecological environment regulatory institutions. We will work to forge a community of shared future for mankind, establish an ecological framework that respects nature and green development, and build a clean and beautiful world.
Li said, as a responsible country and a major member of the international community, we will act under the guidance of the new development philosophies, introduce the toughest ecological and environmental protection systems, ban inbound foreign wastes, and realize the harmonious coexistence of man and nature and the balance between protection and development. We will hold onto the environment-friendliness philosophies, advance green belt and road initiative, continue to strengthen south-south environmental cooperation, and achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals. We will support the UNEP reforms at the helm of Director General Erik Solheim, raise the administration efficiency and effectiveness, and play a bigger role in global environmental governance landscape.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)