MEE official expands on PRC's positions ahead of COP28

context: In an interview with The Paper, Xia Yingxian 夏应显 MEE Climate Department director elaborated on the PRC’s position ahead of COP28 (United Nations climate conference), which will begin in Dubai on 30 November 2023. 

The results of the upcoming COP28 (United Nations climate conference) should include four elements, argues Xia Yingxian 夏应显 MEE Climate Department director

  • alignment with the Paris Agreement’s goals, principles and institutional arrangements, including
    • ‘within 2°C and strive for 1.5°C’
    • multilateralism with the UN at the core; opposing unilateral measures
    • addressing historical emissions of developed countries
    • developed nations to lead in emission reduction, achieving net-zero well before 2050, and supporting developing countries financially and technologically
  • reflecting actual global progress, with
    • emphasis on new energy development
    • a solid assessment of 
      • implementation gaps before 2020
      • overall progress, shortcomings and gaps in the implementation of nationally determined contributions
      • gaps in provision of funds, technology and capacity building by developed countries
  • promotion of sustainable development
    • identifying opportunities, challenges, measures and best practices for developing countries to collaboratively mitigate climate change, poverty reduction, sustainable development and fair transformation
  • removal of obstacles to mitigating climate change, with a clear political signal of
    • solidarity and cooperation for a shared future for humankind
    • accurately identifying major obstacles that hinder and interfere with global collective progress
    • opposing protectionism, unilateral measures, green barriers and ‘small circles’ in the name of climate
    • opposing technological monopolies, blockades, decoupling and supply-chain disruptions

Commenting on the PRC’s participation in South-South climate cooperation, Xia highlights

  • as the largest developing country, the PRC is actively implementing Xi Jinping’s ‘Ten-Hundred-Thousand initiative’ and the ‘Belt and Road South-South Cooperation Initiative on Climate Change’
  • the PRC has signed 48 MOUs (memorandum of understanding) on South-South cooperation on climate change with 40 developing countries, held a total of 57 capacity-building training courses in the PRC and trained more than 2,400 officials and technicians in the field of climate change from more than 120 developing countries
  • the PRC will increase support to other developing countries, including African countries, small island countries and least developed countries, to the best of its ability
  • the PRC plans to carry out an ‘Africa Solar Belt’ project as part of the ‘Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation on combating Climate Change’ jointly issued by PRC and Africa, in September 2023; negotiations are ongoing

Commenting on health issues for the first time being part of the COP28 agenda, Xia highlights

  • the national climate change adaptation strategy 2035 which lists health and public health as one of its key areas
  • three active areas, including
    • the development of hierarchical early warning technology for health risks associated with high-temperature heat waves and low-temperature cold waves; the first batch of pilot cities includes Jinan, Qingdao and Shenzhen
    • a cross-departmental joint working mechanism that can issue health risk warnings for hospitals and provide support
    • a ‘Public Health Protection Guidelines for High Temperature and Heat Waves’ that provides specific guidance for the public to deal with health risks of high temperatures and heat waves

Concerning expectations for COP28, Xia says the PRC looks forward to

  • a global stocktake as an opportunity to send a positive signal to the international community focusing on action and cooperation
  • developed countries
    • earnestly fulfill their commitment to provide and mobilise US$100 bn in climate finance for developing countries every year before COP
    • clarify a roadmap for doubling adaptation funds
    • make greater contributions to the establishment of new collective quantified financial targets after 2025
  • a strong decision on global adaptation goals, with a complete loss and damage financial mechanism, and good response to the long-term appeals of developing countries for financial, technical and capacity-building support