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Political advisers call for further low-carbon transition

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-23 08:01
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Aerial photo taken on Aug 23, 2021 shows the scenery of Saihanba forest farm in North China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's senior political advisers called for a range of measures to accelerate the nation's low-carbon transition at a three-day gathering that concluded on Wednesday.

Promoting green, low-carbon and high-quality transition is the only path that can lead to the sustainable development of the Chinese nation, said Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The application of the new development philosophy and pursuing innovation-driven development is key to realizing this transition, he said at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th CPPCC National Committee.

He called for intensified endeavors to promote scientific and technological innovations and to make major breakthroughs in core technologies in carbon reduction. Concerted efforts should be made to promote innovations in policies, commercial modes, and management systems and mechanisms, he said.

Wang also stressed a people-centered approach and the principle of "establishing the new before abolishing the old" in promoting the transition.

People-oriented steps

While reducing carbon emissions, the country should ensure the security of energy, food and industrial chains, as well as to maintain stable macroeconomic performance, he said. People's normal lives should not be affected.

The focus of the gathering was to discuss high-quality, green and low-carbon development. During the session, political advisers held discussions on a range of topics, including deepening industrial structure adjustment, strengthening ecological protection and restoration, and improving related policies, laws and standards.

In 2021, fossil energy still accounted for 83.4 percent of China's primary energy consumption, said Huang Runqiu, minister of ecology and environment. The largest contributor is coal, at 56 percent of the total, he added.

"China should attach importance to clean and efficient utilization of coal, while also making intensified efforts to boost the development of clean and renewable energy," he added.

Cao Peixi, former president of China Huaneng Group, a major State-owned power generator, called for improving the country's legal, regulatory and standards systems to facilitate the transition in the nation's energy sector.

He proposed enacting an energy law, which would include the country's climate targets and the establishment of a new power supply system.

China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and realize carbon neutrality before 2060.

Amendments are also needed to laws related to electricity and coal to adapt them to the current situation in the country's green transition, he said.

A major concern in work related to a new law or amending existing laws should be the optimization of the business environment, he added.

Measures should also be rolled out to improve supervision of the energy market, safeguard the interests of market entitles, and promote fair competition, regulated trading and information disclosure.

Accelerated efforts

Ge Honglin, former president of Aluminum Corporation of China, emphasized the need to optimize the distribution of industries with high energy consumption.

China should make accelerated efforts to relocate such industries to regions with more clean energy resources, he said.

Si Zefu, former president of Harbin Electric Corp, called for the establishment of a green financing system to support the transformation of the country's huge manufacturing sector.

Currently, about 70 percent of energy in the country is consumed by the sector and its products, he said.

Financial support should be given to encourage technological innovation, technical transformation, and the overall upgrading of the sector, as well as optimizing the distribution of industrial chains and improving capabilities in terms of sustainable development.

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