Interview: French ambassador calls for continued environmental cooperation with China

Updated: December 30, 2020 Source:
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Cooperation between France and China on tackling climate change and preserving biodiversity should continue, Yann Wehrling, France's ambassador for the environment, ministry for Europe and foreign affairs, has said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Wehrling said "the current context of climate and environmental emergency requires continuous cooperation between us in the international governance of climate and biodiversity."

"France has, in this regard, very close collaboration with China on all of these themes. And this collaboration has been as intense in recent years as we share a common vision of multilateralism," he added.

Climate change and the protection of biodiversity have become indispensable key topics for the international community and the China-France high-level strategic dialogue. The two countries have already established a partnership for tackling climate change.

Wehrling recalled that in November 2015, leaders of the two countries issued a joint statement on climate change in Beijing, which was "very important to achieve the success of the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21)" held in Paris, France. In June 2019, France, China and the United Nations held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka, which gave "new impetus to the climate issue."

China has announced that it would strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. China has also pledged to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by over 65 percent from the 2005 level, increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25 percent, and bring its total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kilowatts.

These announcements "are going in the right direction" and France immediately welcomed these commitments, said Wehrling, adding that "they are decisive and participate in the new dynamic of the Paris Agreement."

He said that France and China are two major players in the fight against climate change, which is also a priority subject for the European Union (EU) as a whole, and a major axis of EU-China relations.

Wehrling said that a green partnership should be structured based on research and development of green technologies, as well as a political commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to quickly limit global warming.

He said that any initiative including a green partnership that will bring China closer to the EU is very positive, in particular regarding the preparation of COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China.

Editor: Yu Huichen