From Renmin Ribao (人民网, People’s Daily Online), April 26, 2021, http://en.people.cn/n3/2021/0426/c90000-9843473.html. Complete text:
Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time called for joint efforts of the world to build a community of life for man and Nature at the Leaders Summit on Climate held on April 22.
He said we must be committed to harmony between man and Nature, green development, systemic governance, a people-centered approach, multilateralism and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
His proposals were extracted from the experiences of economic and social practices, and will in turn serve as guidance for future practices.
The harmony between man and Nature concerns human subsistence and development. In recent years, the world has been hit by climate change, decreasing biodiversity, exacerbated desertification, and frequent extreme weathers. The fundamental reason for such changes is the increasingly sharpening contradiction between man and Nature. To revere, respect, comply with and protect Nature, and build a community of life for man and Nature, is the only road leading to the balance of the Earth’s ecosystem.
Green development concerns the sustainable development of global economy and society. Ecological and environmental issues are indeed about development models and lifestyles. Both history and presence have proved that environmental protection and economic development are not contradictory. To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to improve the environment is to boost productivity.
Guided by Xi’s thought on ecological progress, China has applied a new vision for development and made solid steps in promoting green, low-carbon and sustainable development. It is obvious to all that the country has well explained the value of green development and set a model for the world with its persistent efforts.
Systematic governance concerns the effective protection and utilization of all elements and aspects of Nature. Xi remarked that just as humans need the fields for food, the fields need the rivers, the rivers need the mountains, the mountains need the soils, and the soils need the forests and grasslands. This biotic community is the material basis for humanity’s subsistence and development. To protect and utilize the material basis, the mankind must follow the innate laws of the ecosystem and properly balance all elements and aspects of Nature. This is a way that may take the world where it wants to be, an ecosystem in sound circulation and overall balance. The international community hailed that China’s systematic planning for ecological progress is both inspiring and feasible.
A people-centered approach concerns the wellbeing of all people in the world. To pursue a better life, mankind must correctly understand the dialectical relationship between environmental protection and economic development. The blue sky, lucid water, pure soil and lush mountains are all a source for people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. As China spares no effort to green its economic and social development, the Chinese people are demanding more for better environment and ecology than just basic subsistence. The green transition itself is promoting social equity and justice, said some foreign observers.
Multilateralism concerns to what extent the targets and principles of the world can be achieved and followed. Facing global environmental risks and challenges, all countries are in a community with a shred future. Unilateralism will never be supported by the people, and cooperation remains the only correct option.
China has a consistent position of seeking solidarity and promoting cooperation, and firmly supporting multilateralism. From joining international cooperation on climate governance and leading a new process of global climate governance, China is playing a more and more important and constructive role in building a global environment governance system that is equal and pursues win-win results.
The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities concerns the future of global response to climate change. Any governance must be exercised based on principles. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is a bed rock for global climate governance.
There’s no doubt that the international society shall fully recognize China’s contribution to tackling climate change and take care of the country’s particular difficulties and concerns. Developed countries shall show bigger ambition and launch more activities, and help developing countries accelerate their green and low-carbon transition.
Proposing to build a community of life for man and Nature and pushing for international consensus, China has reinforced confidence for and strengthened global environmental governance at the critical stage.
As a constructor of, contributor to and leader of global ecological progress, China is planning for a bright future shared by all humanity. What China shows is a major country responsibility that deserves to be welcomed by all.
(Editors: Hongyu and Bianji)