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Speech by Ambassador Zheng Zeguang at Launch of Report “Targeting Net Zero: The Role of UK-China Business”: Working Together to Promote Green and Low-carbon Development
2021-11-10 20:28

At the launch of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) Report “Targeting Net Zero: The Role of UK-China Business” in Glasgow on 9 November, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang delivered a video speech entitled Working Together to Promote Green and Low-carbon Development. The full text of the speech is as follows:

Working Together to Promote Green and Low-carbon Development

Speech by Ambassador Zheng Zeguagn at Launch of Report “Targeting Net Zero: The Role of UK-China Business” 

9 November 2021

Sir Sherard,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

It is a real delight to join you at the launch of “Targeting Net Zero: The Role of UK-China Business” Report. 

Congratulations!

This report is substantive and pragmatic. It demonstrates the great potential for practical cooperation in green and low-carbon development between the business communities of China and the UK. It could serve as guidance for businesses from both countries and around the world. 

Since we are on this topic, I’d like to share with you a couple of thoughts.

First, China is committed to green and low-carbon development and working vigorously to tackle climate change.

In his written statement at the World Leaders Summit of COP26, President Xi Jinping made three very important proposals, namely, upholding multilateral consensus, focusing on concrete actions and accelerating the green transition. These proposals reflect China’s firm resolve and readiness as a responsible global player in international cooperation on tackling climate change and protecting our planet. They have received positive response from the international community.

China has announced the goals of carbon peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. To achieve these targets, we are accelerating the formulation of the “1+N” policy framework, which refers to policy directives published recently, i.e. the Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy and the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before2030, and specific implementation plans as well as supporting measures to be rolled out successively to form a clear timetable, road map and working plan. 

China always honours its commitments. We had worked hard in the past 15 years on reducing the intensity of carbon emissions and over-achieved the climate action target for 2020. And now, to attain the goals of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, we are prepared to make even more arduous efforts. When these are achieved, we will have achieved the biggest cuts on carbon emissions intensity in the world and the fastest leap from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in history.

Externally, we have been helping developing countries meet the challenge. China had in recent years provided about 1.1 billion RMB yuan for South-South cooperation on climate response, donated energy-saving and new energy devices to about 40 countries, and trained nearly 1,500 officials and technical personnel for 120 developing countries. 

China is always a contributor to global governance on climate response. We have faithfully implemented the Paris Agreement. And we call on developed countries to shoulder their due responsibilities and take concrete actions to deliver their pledges, especially those pledges about providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries. All parties should work together to contribute their due share to global climate governance.

Second, China and the UK have enormous opportunity for cooperation and should work more closely together to tap the potential.

In a recent telephone conversation, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached important understanding on developing China-UK relations and enhancing cooperation. Both sides agreed that our two countries should maintain sound communication and work closer together, and should expand cooperation in areas of health care, green growth, digital economy, financial services and innovation. This consensus at the top charted the course for the development of our overall bilateral relations.

The Report launched today maps out the areas of clean energy, green finance and green transport. We are in favour of active expansion of practical cooperation in those areas. I am pleased that there is already a solid foundation for such cooperation. 

  • Since 2015, four Chinese banks in the UK have issued nine green bonds with a value of 4.28 billion US dollars. 

  • In a few days, the Bank of China will hold a ceremony for the listing of another batch of ESG bonds at the London Stock Exchange. 

  • China Huaneng Group has put into operation Europe’s largest battery storage project in the UK, and is planning to make further investment in the projects.

All these will contribute to the UK’s efforts in reaching its net zero target.

Going forward, businesses from our two countries should leverage their respective strengths, deepen cooperation at the bilateral level as well as in BRI partner countries.

I am sure that green development will become a new feature and a key area of China-UK cooperation in the future. 

Third, China and the UK should pull in the same direction and foster a sound political atmosphere and business environment for cooperation.

China’s economy continues to recover steadily, and we have already seen preliminary success in high-quality growth. The first three quarters has registered a growth of 9.8% year-on-year. And we have full confidence that the annual target for economic and social development will be reached. China’s import in the same period totaled nearly two trillion USD and recorded a growth of 32.6%. This was a new historical high. 

China has a population of over 1.4 billion, including an expanding middle-income group which stands at more than 400 million today. Such a big market means enormous purchasing power and huge consumer potential. It also means ample opportunities for businesses from all countries.

The fourth China International Import Expo, which opened a few days ago, saw the participation of 93 companies from the UK. This speaks eloquently about the enthusiasm of British companies for the Chinese market and their confidence in its prospects. 

President Xi Jinping addressed the opening ceremony of the Expo. He emphasized,

  • we will not change our resolve to open wider at a high standard; 

  • we will not change our determination to share development opportunities with the rest of the world; 

  • and we will not change our commitment to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

China is deepening reform and opening up on all fronts and will continue to foster a market-based, law-based and open business environment, and we welcome, as always, investment from all countries, including the UK. Likewise, we hope that the UK Government will provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies.

The business communities, as the backbone of China-UK economic relation, should step up dialogue and build long-term partnerships. Business associations of the two countries should help our companies to get connected and build platforms for communication and cooperation. Here, I’d like to express my appreciation to CBBC. The “Targeting Net Zero” Report is yet another example of your hard work in networking and bridging.

With the support of the two governments and the concerted efforts of our business communities, I am sure that China-UK cooperation on green development will bring about more tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries, and contribute to the sustainable development around the world.

Once again, congratulations on the successful launch of this Report. May you have a productive conference in Glasgow.

Thank you!


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