Interview: China plays leading role in fighting climate change: Cambodian scholar

Updated: July 8, 2022 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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PHNOM PENH, July 7 (Xinhua) -- As the world's largest developing country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, China has been playing a leading role in the fight against climate change, a prominent Cambodian scholar said on Thursday.

Neak Chandarith, director of the Cambodia 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Research Center, said climate change is a major challenge for the world, threatening the health and livelihood of mankind on the planet.

"With a high degree of responsibility, China has adopted and implemented a number of policies, measures and actions to combat climate change and has actively participated in global climate governance," he told Xinhua.

"The Chinese government considers environmental protection a top priority, as environmental protection has been integrated into all of the country's socio-economic development plans," he explained.

Chandarith said China has made a number of essential laws and regulations on the protection of the environment and natural resources, and the implementation has been strictly enforced.

He said to reaffirm its resolute commitment, the Chinese government has officially declared a "war on pollution", with a nationwide inspection on the implementation of environmental laws and severe punishments for any act of law violation.

"Besides law enforcement, the Chinese government focuses on education, raising environmental awareness and encouraging people and the private sector to actively participate in environmental protection," the scholar said.

He said in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions, China has made efforts to increase its carbon sequestration capacity by implementing tree replanting policies, which have so far replanted nearly 80 billion trees across the country.

"In fact, reducing carbon emissions have put severe pressure on socio-economic development because the socio-economic development necessarily needs energy," Chandarith said. "Despite such severe pressure, the Chinese government has not changed its goal of reducing its carbon footprint, and it has moved towards a greener socio-economic development, focusing on the development and use of new energy sources and modern technologies to reduce pollution."

He said China is now the world's leading investor in renewable energy development.

"Besides efforts in the country, China has actively supported and participated in international environmental protection activities," the scholar said.

He added that China has actively participated in climate change talks, pushing for the successful completion of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Also, he said China has actively participated in bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection with many countries around the world, especially promoting a win-win global climate governance system.

"So far, China's efforts to fight environmental pollution have achieved remarkable success," he said. "At present, China has achieved remarkably better environmental conditions, especially the air quality."

"All in all, with strong economic strength, advanced technological capability and high responsibility, China has played a leading role in combating global climate change," he said. 

Editor: Gao Jingyan