Home >> The 6th WEC Presidium Round-Table Meeting
Analysis on the Content and Reason of Sino-Canada Cooperation in Environmental Field

Since moving back to China 9 months ago, it has been clear to me that the issues of China’s environment and development are growing more complex and demanding in terms of policy needs. Therefore, our joint efforts must be robust and provide new insights. In this regard, we note the success of the 18th Party Congress in elevating the concept of “Ecological Civilization”, or “Ecological Progress”, to the highest national policy level. By placing environment and development at the same level as the economy, culture and social development, China is sending an important signal—not only to its own people but also to the rest of the world—about its resolve and tenacity to create a new environment and development relationship.

 

 

This weekend’s conference exemplifies the necessity to work together to solve environmental problems while ensuring continuous economic growth, by bringing together important players from around the world with a wide range of perspectives and expertise. I would like to speak briefly today about Canada’s collaboration with China, as an example of the many efforts by various countries and organizations around the world to uphold our shared global responsibility for sustainable development. Canada values its record of environmental cooperation with China, which goes back nearly 30 years and is now recognized as a strategic pillar of our relationship with China. Canada recognizes the important efforts China has made in addressing environmental concerns domestically, particularly in moving towards a green economy. Through our continued cooperation with China, we are working to advance environmental stewardship, protection, and conservation to safeguard the natural environment and the health of both Canadians and Chinese. Canada and China pursue this cooperation through several mechanisms, on a wide range of issues. These include climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, biodiversity conservation, green building, protected areas management, and environmental monitoring and assessment.

 

Canada has strong capabilities in clean technology, particularly in waste and waste-water treatment, clean energy, and green building. Canadian clean technology companies are recognized in China for their innovative green solutions. One area where we hope for further collaboration with China is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Governments in Canada are investing over $3 billion to develop this technology. This is an excellent example of an area where development and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand. On the multilateral front, since 1992, Canada has been the primary supporter, and the International Co-chair, of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. The China Council has been influential in providing research-based policy recommendations on environment and development to the highest levels of China’s government, including directly to China’s Premier. I had the pleasure of attending the last meeting of the CCICED in December of last year which was co-chaired by Peter Kent, Canadian Minister of the Environment, along with Minister Zhou Shengxian. The China Council has formulated recommendations to the Chinese government on issues such as low carbon industrialization and the green economy, two topics that will also be discussed during this year’s World Economic and Environmental Conference.

 

Since its inception in 2008, the WEC has gained a reputation as a valuable platform for international engagement on China’s sustainable development. While the China Council is focused on providing policy recommendations to the central government, the WEC plays an equally important role: that of promoting thoughtful discussion among government officials, business and industry representatives, and academics. While the China Council reaches up, the WEC reaches out. By bringing together experts from around the world, the WEC reflects the reality that sustainable development challenges are not unique to China, but are faced by us all. And that we need to work together, sharing our experiences and expertise, to ensure that our common future bright, enduring, and fruitful.

Organizers
© 2013 The 6th World Economic and Environmental Conference, All Rights Reserved.
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