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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends and Addresses APPCG Webinar on China-UK Cooperation on Tackling Climate Change

On 13 October, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the APPCG (All Party Parliamentary China Group) webinar on China-UK Cooperation on Tackling Climate Change and delivered a keynote speech entitled Work Together to Tackle Climate Change and Make Our Planet a Better Home for All. Chairman of APPCG Richard Graham chaired the forum, where Sir Laurie Bristow, Regional Ambassador for COP26 of the UK Foreign Office, and Philip Dunne, Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, also spoke. The webinar was attended by more than 30 participants, including Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Baroness Northover, Mark Logan, Deputy Chairs of APPCG, Lisa Cameron MP, Jonathan Djanogly MP, Lord Sassoon, President of China-Britain Business Council, Lord Powell, Lord McConnell, Lord Lucas, Lord Inglewood, Baroness Bottomley, officials from UK’s Cabinet Office, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Environment Agency, and representatives from Conservative Party’s environmental protection organizations, China-Britain Business Council, and Great Britain-China Centre.

In his speech, Ambassador Liu pointed out that the year 2021 will be an important year for joint global response to climate change. China and the UK will host COP15 and COP26 respectively. These events not only have importance to China-UK relations but also bear great significance to global cooperation and governance on climate change and environmental protection. Against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, tackling climate change has become an increasingly urgent task. Mankind faces five major challenges of climate change, namely, global warming, deterioration of the eco-environment, Covid-19 pandemic, imbalance in response capacity and withdrawal from international treaties and organizations

Ambassador Liu quoted the announcement of President Xi Jinping a short while ago at a high-level UN meeting in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN that China will scale up its nationally determined contributions, adopt even more forceful policies and measures, strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This announcement has been highly commended by the international community. In the words of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, this is “fantastic” and “a powerful signal to the world”.

Ambassador Liu emphasized that China and the UK are important partners in climate change response and environmental governance. There is enormous potential for closer cooperation between the two countries. First, China and the UK can join hands and be the champions of global governance on climate change. Hosting COP15 and COP26 respectively will enable China and the UK to play a leading role in promoting global governance on climate change. President Xi and Prime Minister Johnson have reached important political consensus on stepping up coordination and mutual support in hosting COP15 and COP26 respectively. “Going forward, our two sides should enhance communication and coordination, and fully engage the governments, legislatures, business community, media and academia, so as to make these two conferences successful,” said the Ambassador.

Second, China and the UK can join hands and be the promoters of green development. It is important that China and the UK enhance cooperation in new energy and low-carbon cities. These will enable the two sides to achieve win-win results in both ecological conservation and high-quality economic growth. “Our two countries should also encourage closer cooperation between our industries in renewable energy, green finance and green Belt and Road. This will help boost green recovery in both our two countries and the rest of the world,” added the Ambassador.

Third, China and the UK can join hands and be the pioneers of green innovation. Both China and the UK are pursuing innovative development in green technology, energy and financial services. The two countries have signed the Clean Energy Partnership Work Plan for 2019-2020 and jointly set up the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road Development, sharing a huge potential for cooperation in this aspect.

Fourth, China and the UK can join hands and be the defenders of multilateralism. It is important that China and the UK stand up for multilateralism. Under the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities, China and the UK should make utmost efforts to implement the nationally determined contributions, contribute to the comprehensive, balanced and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, help developing countries scale up capacity building, deepen international cooperation, improve the governance system, and chart the course for global governance on climate change.

In closing, Ambassador Liu said, “Tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity are important areas of China-UK cooperation. They are also our mission as major global players. It is my sincere hope that you will continue playing a positive role and supporting green cooperation between our governments and businesses. I also look forward to your thoughts and ideas on hosting successful COP15 and COP26. Let’s work together to make greater contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind and making our planet a better home for all.”

Sir Laurie said, the UK stands firm to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement by hosting COP26. Against the backdrop of Covid-19, all countries, while working on resuming economic activities, should continue fulfilling their commitment on climate change and promoting sustainable development. UK-China cooperation on climate change is an important area of but not limited to the bilateral relations, and it plays a major role in tackling global challenges. Climate change and biological diversity are issues closely related to each other, which should be addressed in a coordinated manner. Prime Minister Johnson and President Xi have reached key consensus on mutual support and joint effort between the UK and China to make a success of COP26 and COP15. The UK is ready to work together with China to enhance coordination on COP26 and COP15, and to step up cooperation in areas such as green technology, solar energy, and wind energy.

Mr. Dunne said, the UK, with its strength in offshore wind power, green finance innovation, and other areas, attaches great importance to tackling climate change and pays a great deal of attention to marine conservation and climate change financing. The British side welcomes and appreciates President Xi Jinping’s announcement at the high-level UN meeting in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN last month that China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The key consensus on mutual support for COP26 and COP15 between PM Johnson and President Xi is an inspiring signal to the international community. Mr. Dunne hoped that the UK and China would strengthen dialogue and consultation to make the two conferences success, playing a leading role in the global response to climate change and green development.

Ambassador Liu took questions from the participant of the webinar on COP15 preparation, UK-China cooperation on new energy, China’s coal power development, green BRI, investment and financing for coal projects, involvement of business communities from both countries in COP15 and COP26.

The participants thanked Ambassador Liu for his comprehensive presentation on China’s response to climate change and his proposal for China-UK cooperation, spoke highly of President Xi’s commitment on climate change at the UN, and recognized China’s efforts in support of global green recovery and development through policy, finance and technology. They hoped that the two countries would support each other and work closely to ensure the success of COP26 and COP15.

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