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Chinese President Hu Jintao Attends the Leaders Meeting of Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change and Delivers an Important Speech

2008/07/09

The Leaders Meeting of Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change was held in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan, on the morning of July 9, 2008. Chinese President Hu Jintao attended the meeting and delivered an important speech. President Hu pointed out that international cooperation on climate change should first start from striking a balance among economic growth, social development and environmental protection, focus upon ensuring economic growth, set the improvement of sustainable development capabilities as the goal, give priority to saving energy, optimizing energy structure and strengthening biological protection, and be backed by scientific and technological progress so as to improve the international community's ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The meet was held in Windsor Toya Hotel, Lake Toya. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda chaired the meeting. The participating leaders had open discussions on the topics of the agenda.

Hu pointed out in his speech that climate change issue is fundamentally a development issue that should be resolved within the framework of sustainable development. "As countries present at this meeting differ in terms of stage of development, level of scientific and technological development and national conditions, our endeavor to combat climate change should be guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We believe efforts should be made in the following areas."

Firstly, major economies should play an exemplary role in fulfilling the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, which have established the framework, principles and goals for international cooperation on climate change, and set out the efforts that developed and developing countries should make respectively. Developed countries should make earnest efforts to attain the goal of emission reduction defined in the Protocol and take concrete measures to honor their commitments of providing funding and technology transfer to developing countries. Developing countries should adopt policy measures for mitigation and adaptation and make whatever contribution as they can to the fight against climate change in the context of sustainable development.

Secondly, major economies should play an active role in advancing international negotiations. This year and the next are crucial to the effort in implementing the Bali Road Map, which charts the course and sets the timetable for international discussions on an international climate change arrangement after 2012.The international community should work together to ensure progress in international negotiations on climate change. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol should serve as the main channel for international negotiations and cooperation on climate change, with other initiatives and mechanisms as useful supplements.

Thirdly, major economies should take the lead in carrying out practical cooperation. We should work to improve the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other existing financing mechanisms and promptly implement the projects under the Adaptation Fund to provide new and additional financial support for developing countries as they endeavor to adapt to climate change. The international community should establish effective technology transfer and dissemination mechanisms and realize technology sharing to ensure that developing countries can get affordable technologies that are both climate-friendly and environment-friendly.

Hu stressed that the Chinese government always holds a responsible attitude towards the Chinese people and the people in the rest of the world and attaches great importance to climate change issue. We have identified the building of biological civilization as a strategic task and included saving resources and environmental protection as our basic national policies. We will strive to adjust industrial structure, growth patterns and consumption models that are more energy- and resource-saving and more eco-friendly. We will first start from saving energy and reducing emissions to tackle with climate change. We have adopted a series of measures aiming at saving energy, optimizing energy structure, improving energy efficiency and increasing afforestation and tremendous results have been achieved. To adapt to climate change, China has strengthened our adaptation ability in agriculture, natural and biological system, water resources and other areas. We pay high attention to disaster prevention and reduction and strive to reduce the loss arising from disastrous weather and extreme climate incidents.

Hu said that China will work with the international community to make unremitting efforts to promote the harmonious development, clean development and sustainable development of the world. (The full text of President Hu's address will be released separately.)

The leaders of G8 countries and the leaders of China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico, Austrilia, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea attended the meeting.

The meet adopted the leaders' declaration. It is pointed out in the declaration that climate change is one of the great global challenges of our time. Conscious of our leadership role in meeting such challenges, we, the leaders of the world's major economies, both developed and developing, commit to combat climate change in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and confront the interlinked challenges of sustainable development, including energy and food security, and human health.

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