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Chinese Ambassador to Canada, H. E. CONG Peiwu Published a Byline Article Titled Wildfires, Heat Waves... It All Urges Global Collaboration to Tackle Climate Change on The Hill Times
2023-08-21 22:59

On August 21, The Hill Times published a byline article titled Wildfires, Heat Waves... It All Urges Global Collaboration to Tackle Climate Change by the Chinese Ambassador to Canada, H. E. CONG Peiwu. Here is the full text:

Canada's raging wildfires have been worrying since the beginning of this year. Living in Ottawa, I've personally experienced the detrimental effects of wildfires on air quality and pollution. Meanwhile, scorching heat waves have become a common occurrence in various parts of the world. Extreme weather is not strange to mankind. But climate change has undoubtedly made extreme weather events more frequent and intense. While impressed by the mighty power and vulnerability of nature, we genuinely feel that when it comes to tackling climate change, countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship.

China, the largest developing country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, is confronted with numerous and arduous tasks including economic growth, improvement of people's livelihood, pollution control, and ecological protection. China considers promoting harmony between humanity and nature as one of the essential requirements of its modernization. The country is implementing its national strategy for actively responding to climate change. Having incorporated the goals of peaking carbon emissions and carbon neutrality into its overall economic and social development, the country promotes a transition to green economic and social development.

China pursues the goals of peak carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality not under compulsion but of our own accord. With tremendous efforts, remarkable results have been seen. In 2021, China's carbon intensity dropped by an impressive 50.8 percent from the level in 2005. During the past decade, China's annual energy consumption has grown at a rate of 3 percent, supporting an average economic growth rate of 6.6 percent. Behind these figures are China's strong commitments to reducing carbon emissions and promoting carbon sequestration. Please allow me to share some examples of China’s proactive actions in this regard.

First, China has vigorously developed renewable energy. China's investment in renewable energy has ranked first in the world for many consecutive years. China boasts the largest installed capacity for hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass power. In 2022, China's renewable energy power generation stood at 2.7 trillion kWh, accounting for 31.6 percent of the country's total electricity consumption. By the end of 2022, the total installed capacity of renewable energy in China exceeded that of coal power, marking a historic leap in energy development. China's efforts in developing renewable energy have greatly reduced the utilization cost of such energy and made a significant contribution to global carbon emission reduction.

Second, China has made efforts to promote new energy vehicles (NEVs). China leads the world in terms of NEVs production, sales and ownership. In the first half of the year, production and sales volume of China's NEV amounted to 3.79 million and 3.75 million units respectively, with the sales volume contributing 28.3 percent of all vehicle sales. As of the end of June 2023, China's NEV ownership surpassed 16.2 million units, accounting for more than half of the global total.

Third, China has intensified efforts in afforestation. Currently, China has the world’s largest planted forests and ranks fifth and second worldwide in terms of forest area and grassland area, respectively. While global forest resources continue to decline, China’s forest coverage rate has nearly doubled from 12 percent in the 1980s to over 24 percent today. The country has witnessed an impressive increase of 8.5 billion cubic meters in forest stock. China tops the world in forest resource growth, and has contributed to one-fourth of the global afforestation increase.

Frequent wildfire disasters and continuous heat waves present a formidable challenge to us. However, the positive results of our endeavors have further bolstered our confidence. The global community is moving towards the goal of tackling climate change, which is good momentum. China is committed to collaborating with all countries, including Canada, to address this challenge and build a fair and rational global climate governance system for win-win results.

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