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Make green the distinctive colour of China-Belgium and China-EU cooperation

In recent years, extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods, have occurred in many parts of the world. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that July 2023 was the month with the highest global average temperature on record, and could break historical records for at least 120,000 years. – writes Cao Zhongming, Ambassador of China to Belgium.

The Global Risks Report 2023 published by the World Economic Forum has identified ten major global risks, many of which are linked to climate change. The global climate crisis is becoming increasingly serious and urgent. It is imperative to proactively address the challenge of climate change and focus on a green, low-carbon transition.

The effects of climate change are not limited to the territory of a single country and no country is immune, we are in a community of destiny where all parties are closely linked in such a way that one suffers from damage, everyone suffers damage, and when one prospers, everyone prospers. A single tree cannot make a forest, and the response to this challenge must also rely on all countries working together to build consensus and fully engage in international cooperation.

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As the world’s largest developing country, China has demonstrated the commitment of a responsible major country by setting the national target to contribute to capping carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, and achieving the world’s highest rate of carbon intensity reduction in the shortest time in history, and has firmly put its commitments into practice by giving priority to ecology and green and low-carbon development.

China has contributed 25% to the creation of new green zones around the world since the turn of the century and has taken the lead in efforts to achieve “zero growth” in land degradation, a “double reduction” in the area of desertification and sandy lands, as well as a “double growth” of forest cover and forest stock.

China has established the world’s largest clean energy generation system, with the installed capacity of hydropower, wind power and solar power ranking first in the world. With an average annual growth rate of 3% in energy consumption, China has sustained an average annual economic growth rate of 6.2% and has become one of the countries in the world where intensity reduction of energy consumption is the fastest.

China not only focuses on its own green development but also leads and serves the cause of global environmental governance. First, China has long adhered to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, firmly implements the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, participates in global climate negotiations in a positive and constructive manner, makes contributions historic to the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement, and pushes for the construction of a fair, reasonable and win-win global climate governance system.

Second, adhering to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, China has actively undertaken South-South cooperation in combating climate change, promoted the construction of a green Belt and Road, and provided support and assistance to other developing countries to the best of its abilities.

Since 2016, China has launched 10 low-carbon demonstration zones, 100 climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, and 1,000 training places to respond to climate change in developing countries to help them with their energy transition and jointly fight global climate change.

Third, China has carried out international ecological cooperation in an extensive and pragmatic manner, and the production of carbon emission reduction equipment has provided strong support for the ecological transition of various countries, thereby promoting sustainable development on a global scale. world. Relevant statistics from the International Energy Agency show that in the field of solar power generation alone, the share of key components produced in China, such as polysilicon, wafers, photovoltaic cells and photovoltaic jigs, on the global market increased from 28.6%, 78.3%, 57.9% and 55.7% in 2010 to 88.2%, 97.2%, 89.5% and 78.7% respectively. and in 2022, around 46% of wind energy was produced via Chinese products.

Currently, Belgium and other EU countries are actively promoting the green transition. China and Belgium actively participate in global climate governance and share common interests and goals in promoting global cooperation to combat climate change. Many Belgian companies and research institutes have mature experiences in developing and applying green technologies and building green business models, and they have already opened up a wide range of research and production in China.

China is developing rapidly in the fields of renewable energy, energy batteries, new energy vehicles, etc., with strong technology and market demand, a complete industrial chain and strong supply capacity. Industrial and technological cooperation in the field of green transition between China and Belgium, China and Europe is in line with the interests of each party.

We are convinced that green will be the most distinctive colour of cooperation between China and Belgium and between China and Europe. In a letter to a friendly Belgian, President Xi Jinping stressed that “China steadfastly pursues a quality-oriented ecological, green and low-carbon development path, and will bring more opportunities to the world and greater contribution to the progress of humanity. China-Belgium and China-Europe cooperation in the field of green transition has enormous potential and broad prospects.

We should adhere to the principle of mutual benefit and win-win, keep trade and investment markets open, provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises of each party, strengthen technical cooperation, industrial anchoring and coordination of standards, continuously improve mutual understanding and trust, and join hands in tackling global challenges such as climate change.

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