LIMA — China attaches great importance to South-South cooperation in tackling global climate change, and efforts to achieve common development, a senior Chinese official said on Dec 8.
“China is willing to strengthen cooperation with different countries in jointly coping with climate change and improve collective response to climate challenges under the framework of South-South cooperation,” said Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who heads the Chinese delegation at UN climate talks.
Climate change has posed severe challenges to human survival and development and calls on the international community to take active and joint actions, Xie told the South-South Cooperation on Climate Change Forum (SSCCC Forum) in Lima.
China, as a responsible country, has played an active and constructive role in promoting multilateral cooperation in tackling climate change, Xie said at the sidelines of the UN climate talks, a 12-day conference aimed at securing a draft version of a global emissions-cutting agreement for the post-2020 period, which is of great importance to next year’s UN climate meeting in Paris.
Since 2011, the Chinese government has accumulatively invested around $44 million in South-South cooperation and provided assistance to other developing countries through low-carbon products, training and capacity building, he said.
Up to now, China has signed a memorandum of understanding on intergovernmental climate change cooperation with 19 countries.
It has been widely recognized that South-South cooperation is a new dimension of international cooperation on climate change, Xie said, adding that China will continue to provide support to other developing countries upon their request and enhance professional training and exchanges on climate change and low-carbon development.
The senior Chinese official said that China will establish a South-South Cooperation Fund to help developing countries address climate change based on the principle of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark appreciated China’s significant moves on climate change as a large economy.
“There are many experiences on tackling climate change to be shared through South-South cooperation. The path China itself is taking is of great interest,” Xie said.
“We see that four of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers and five of the world’s largest solar energy equipment manufacturers are now from China,” he said.
“The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that in 2013 there were 2.6 million people employed in the renewable energy sector in China. That is around 40 percent of the entire global labor force employed in that sector,” he added.
At the forum, Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), spoke highly of China’s courage and leadership in bringing finance and technology transfer to the South-South cooperation mechanism to a new level.
The forum, co-sponsored by UNEP and others, seeks to raise awareness of the role of South-South cooperation, identify opportunities and challenges, and discuss conditions for promoting cooperation.