China leads the world in electric vehicles and has a remarkable role to play in the ongoing EV revolution, senior environmental experts said.
The Chinese progress in terms of EVs is “absolutely remarkable” and “China is taking a leadership role right now”, said Michal Kurtyka, president of the ongoing 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland.
The conference, tasked with finalizing implementation guidelines for the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, which aims to control global warming well below 2 C, is scheduled to conclude on Dec 14.
“If I remember correctly, every second electric car being sold in the world is being sold in China. Shenzhen (Guangdong province) has more electric buses (over 16,000) than any other city in the world. So it is a very intelligent strategy because it combines several benefits, in my opinion,” said Kurtyka on Dec 8, who is also secretary of state at Poland’s Ministry of the Environment.
He said electric vehicles are an option to address smog issues plaguing cities in many countries, including China, as urbanization continues.
One of the leading topics of COP 24 is energy transition. In this regard, it is important to have an ambitious, realistic energy policy. And China is developing a number of solutions, he said.
“I think that there is growing awareness everywhere, in China in particular, of the importance of an environmental model of development that marries economic, social, and environmental benefits,” he added.
He also said China has a fundamental role to play in ongoing climate change negotiations.
“It’s a party-driven process, and the Polish presidency is doing its utmost to run it in an inclusive, transparent and party-driven way,” he said.
“It’s extremely encouraging to see a very large Chinese delegation working hard to make sure that Katowice is successful,” he said, adding the committed Chinese delegation is a good sign for Katowice negotiations.
He said China, due to the size of its economy and its very fast economic growth, has an important role to play within G77, which assembles developing countries, in tackling climate change.
Patricia Espinosa, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary, said there is growing recognition of China’s efforts in reducing emissions. A leader in clean technologies, the country has experiences that could be shared with other nations.
“I am also very thankful for the leadership in China and their clarity and vision in putting sustainability and climate change at the center of the agenda of development for the coming years,” she said on Dec 8.