An overview of an offshore wind farm in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. (Photo by Yao Feng/For China Daily）
Officials of Belt and Road nations discuss pathways for building green Silk Road
Officials of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative expressed their high expectations for the initiative to play a bigger role in driving global low-carbon development, as the impacts of the climate crisis loom ever larger.
They made the remarks at the Seminar on Building New Vision for the Green Silk Road, which was hosted by the BRI International Green Development Coalition and the Foreign Environmental Cooperation, an affiliate of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in Beijing on Tuesday.
The BRI has great potential to champion environmental protection and climate action, alongside economic, social and cultural development, said Amy Khor, Singapore's senior minister of state for sustainability and the environment.
"Over the course of my career, I have visited China often and participated in many bilateral activities. One thing I noticed is the astonishing progress made by China on the sustainability front," she said.
China is now a renewable energy giant and a growing environmental leader on the global stage, Khor continued.
Seven out of 10 of the world's leading photovoltaic module producers are based in China, and the country is the largest producer of renewables, including hydrogen. Chinese projects contributed to 80 percent of the global growth in wind power in 2021, she said.
On the climate front, China's declaration to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 will move the needle on global efforts to tackle climate change, she added.
International partnerships are crucial to addressing the adverse impacts of climate change. This will require a stable global order in which we can cooperate productively and resolve disputes peacefully, Khor stressed.
Singapore has worked closely with China to contribute to global green development, she said, citing as an example the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, the construction of which began in Tianjin in September 2008.
The site where the city stands has been transformed from a wasteland with polluted water into a green, livable and smart township of more than 100,000 people, she said.
"No country will be able to achieve their climate ambitions by going it alone. As we push for a greener world, there is an urgent need for us to collaborate with like-minded partners and promote a regional architecture that facilitates inclusive and sustainable development," Khor stated.
"There are many opportunities ahead for all of us, governments and businesses alike, and I hope that we will take advantage of them to build a more sustainable world and a greener Silk Road together."
Highlighting a slate of actions by China to promote a green BRI, Zhao Yingmin, China's vice-minister of ecology and environment, called on countries to enhance the sharing of green development experiences, making full use of platforms established under the initiative.
"In the face of the grim challenges from global climate change, no country can be immune. The international community should forge a powerful synergy to ensure green, low-carbon and sustainable development around the globe," he said.
Making full use of the BRI International Green Development Coalition and other similar platforms, countries should deepen exchanges and build up a network for capacity-building to facilitate the sharing of philosophy and viable practices on green, low-carbon development, he said.
"Let's work together to explore low-carbon development opportunities and build a new vision for the green Silk Road by conducting more in-depth exchanges, enhancing experience sharing and building strong synergy," he said.