Chinese Ambassador H.E. Dr. Zhao Yanbo Contributes an Article to Botswana Guardian Entitled Climate Change: A Challenge for Mankind

Source:Chinese embassy in Botswana 2020-11-17

  Climate change is a global challenge critical to the development of humankind, and requires collective response from all parties. As the multilateral process on climate change is under severe impact of sprawling unilateralism and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important for the international community to take further actions and accelerate the transformation to green and low-carbon development.

  Here in Botswana, I’ve found that issues of climate change always draw public attention. People are concerned about insufficient and irregular rainfall as well as extreme weather, and keep a close eye on ecological issues such as the recent elephant mortality. Researches have revealed that it’s a toxin caused by cyanobacteria that killed the elephants, which is related to higher water temperatures due to climate change. This tragedy has become a wake-up call for all of us. During the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Mokgweetsi Masisi clearly pointed out that Botswana has suffered from erratic rainfalls and frequent droughts that result in animal deaths, grain reduction and the escalation of the human-wildlife conflicts. He declared that the government is developing a policy to redouble the efforts for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which demonstrated Botswana’s firm commitment to climate change response.

  China, like Botswana, attaches great importance to addressing climate change. Though a developing country with GDP per capita lower than the world average, China has actively taken responsibilities in line with its own development stage and national conditions. As one of the first signatories of the UNFCCC, China has contributed significantly to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, and made joint efforts with other countries including Botswana to effectively implement climate change policies and actions, so as to contribute to global ecological development. Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted at this year’s UN Summit that China’s climate action targets for 2020 has been met ahead of schedule. He also pledged that China will adopt even more forceful policies and measures to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Such objectives are consistent with China's commitment to fostering a community with a shared future for humankind.

  China commits itself to the multilateral process on climate change. Faced with global challenges such as climate change and COVID-19, unilateralism finds no support while cooperation is the right way forward. We need to take up our lofty responsibility for human civilization, jointly shoulder the obligation to create a world for all mankind, and find a way for man and nature to live in harmony. In the meantime, let’s keep in mind that developed and developing countries have different historical responsibilities for climate change, and different development needs and capabilities. Therefore, China supports the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in light of different national conditions, and calls for greater assistance from developed economies to developing countries.

  China actively pushes forward the South-South cooperation on climate change. To tackle climate change more effectively, we must address the challenge by advocating consultation, cooperation and shared benefits in global governance so as to reflect the changing international landscape and the interests of the majority of countries, especially emerging markets and developing countries. To date, China has conducted South-South cooperation on climate change, such as low-carbon demonstration zones, climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, and relevant training sessions with many other developing countries. Earlier this week, I signed an MOU with Hon. Philda Kereng, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism for the Provision of Equipment under South-South Cooperation for Addressing Climate Change. A multi-satellite meteorological satellite data mobile receiving and processing system will be handed over to Botswana for climate change response, which will become the latest outcome of China-Botswana friendly cooperation in the new era. China is ready to work with Botswana to strengthen communications and cooperation on climate change towards the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, and jointly build a vibrant, clean and beautiful world for all.

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