Zhang Gaoli Attends High-level Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

On April 22, 2016, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, as special envoy of President Xi Jinping, attended the high-level signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the UN headquarters in New York, and signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of China. Zhang Gaoli also delivered a speech entitled “Push Forward the Implementation of Paris Agreement to Build a Beautiful Homeland for Mankind” at the opening ceremony of the signing ceremony.

In his speech, Zhang Gaoli said that the Paris Agreement, with an aim to accelerate the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, laid out the blueprint and vision of the international community in addressing climate change and realizing green and low-carbon development beyond 2020. It is a milestone in the history of human beings in climate management. We sign the agreement today to further demonstrate our resolution to cope with climate change, translate the blueprint into actions and turn the vision into reality.

Zhang Gaoli pointed out that China played an active role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement. When attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, President Xi Jinping put forward China’s philosophies and propositions on global climate governance in his important speech, which were warmly echoed by all sides. In the negotiation process of the Paris Agreement, China maintained close communication with all sides and played a key role in a number of major issues regarding the negotiations of the Agreement.

Zhang Gaoli stressed that China is a responsible major developing country, and the Chinese people honor our commitments. We will firmly stick to the notions of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, earnestly implement the Paris Agreement and make unremitting efforts to cope with climate change.

Firstly, China will join the Paris Agreement as soon as possible. China will finalize domestic legal procedures to ratify the Agreement before the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September this year. China has advocated other member states of the G20 and will join efforts with other countries to promote the agreement for universal acceptability and early entry into force.

Secondly, China will strive to reduce the domestic emission of greenhouse gas. China has clarified a series of action plans including peaking its carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making efforts to peak early. It will also incorporate the action plans into the national development agenda. China also stipulated in its outline of the “13th Five-Year Plan” that the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP will drop by 18 percent in the next five years. China will introduce a system controlling both the total aggregate and intensity of energy consumption, develop near zero carbon emission demonstration areas, launch a national emission trade market, and substantially increase forest carbon sink, so as to lay a solid foundation to China’s intended nationally determined contributions. China will put in place a complete regulation system on ecological civilization, adopt a strict accountability system for environmental protection and enhance supervision on environment, so as to ensure the implementation of all targets.

Thirdly, China will enhance international cooperation on tackling climate change. China will take an active part in the follow-up negotiations of the Paris Agreement, and implement a series of institutional arrangements set by the Agreement. China will deepen south-south cooperation on climate change. China has put the new cooperation program of "China's South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change" into operation, which includes helping other developing countries improve their financing capability in addressing climate change.

Zhang Gaoli said at last that standing at the new starting point of global climate governance, all sides should join efforts to transform challenges into opportunities and build a beautiful homeland featuring climate security and green development, so as to benefit the whole mankind and future generations.