Danilo Türk: Green and Low-carbon Development Fostering a Community of Life for Man and Nature

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Danilo Türk: Green and Low-carbon Development Fostering a Community of Life for Man and Nature

2021-07-14

Green and Low-carbon Development Fostering a Community of Life for Man and Nature

                                 Statement by Mr. Danilo Türk at the closing ceremony of the EFG 2021                                            



Distinguished participants, honourable guests,    

The 2021 Eco Global Forum Guiyang is coming to a close. It was a very successful forum, worthy of its tradition. I congratulate all the participants and honoured guests for this success.


This year’s EFG has considered the theme of green finance for the achievement of carbon neutrality goal. This is a critically important theme within the general strategy of sustainable development and movement towards a New Era of Eco Civilisation declared by President Xi Jinping. There can be hardly a more ambitious vision of the world than building a New Era of Eco Civilisation. And there can be hardly more important aspect of pursuit of this historic objective than ensuring financial means that will make this vision a reality.


Devising specific policies and practical instruments for development of an Eco-Civilisation is faced by significant obstacles. Today the world is facing a triple challenge: the challenge of global warming, of diminishing biodiversity and increasing pollution. These trends have to be stopped and reversed. This is essential for the creation of conditions of an Eco Civilisation of the future.


The range of the tasks ahead is broad and diverse. It includes the need to devise responses to the fundamental problems of mitigation of global warming and for adaptation to its effects. The Eco Forum Global Guiyang offers a unique opportunity for policy discussion, involving experts and policy makers of China and those from other parts of the world.


The Eco Global Forum is helping to devise effective policy responses to a large number of specific problems such as urban air pollution and for definition of the instruments of development of circular, no – waste economy. Promotion of green industries and smart cities is another policy response. It will have a big impact on the future of urbanization and public health. Rural revitalisation and eco-tourism will help protecting precious natural resources and creating conditions for comfortable living coexistence and co-evolution of human species and its natural environment.  It is important that all these policy responses are approached courageously and with the understanding of the true power of human spirit.


Obviously, these tasks cannot be accomplished fully within a single province or even a single large country like China. They are global and have to be approached globally. Three strategic directions of action stem from this realisation.


First, China is a leading global player and therefore has to make its objectives clear and understood by the whole world. These objectives must be ambitious but also achievable. Therefore it was very important that President Xi clearly stated the objective of making China carbon neutral by 2060 and committed China to the Eco Civilisation of the future. It is equally important that these historic pronouncements are followed by sophisticated policy making concentrated on short and medium term objectives. The Eco Forum Global Guiyang plays an important role in this context.


Second, the Green Silk Road has to be an indispensable ingredient of the Belt and Road Initiative. This broad initiative of China has been mainly focused on building infrastructure and connecting economies of the world better. Now is the time to demonstrate the value of Belt and Road Initiative for the protection of environment and for building a new, Eco –Civilisation. This is a difficult task but also an achievable one – given the technological advancement of China and with an adequate prioritising of projects that constitute the Belt and Road initiative.


And third and final, there is a need to present the results achieved in China so far and the projections for mid - term development – such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and 2030 at the global level. This year will provide important opportunities for such presentations. The Conference of state parties to the Convention on Climate Change, COP 26 will meet later this year in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The United Nations forums will provide a number of opportunities to present the results achieved in China, the plans for the coming years and the vision of Eco – Civilisation. These opportunities have to be seized and, importantly, lead to strengthened international cooperation.


In short, the role of China will be of great importance for the future of the world. This is not entirely new. In the first two decades of the present century the world has witnessed the importance of the contribution of China in the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The implementation of the current, Sustainable Development Goals 2015 – 2030 will to a very large extent depend on the achievements of China and on China’s engagement with other parts of the world.


Let us therefore join forces. The Eco Forum Global Guiyang has an important role to play in the future. I congratulate you for the success of the Forum this year and I wish you many more successes in the future.                          


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