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COP15 side-event: Chinese and UN leaders discuss low carbon future in China

Pressmeddelande   •   Dec 15, 2009 09:50 CET

What: UNDP China brings together international experts and leaders concerned with climate change and social development to discuss China’s political and economic shift towards a low-carbon economy and society.

Venue: Københavns Energi (outside Bella Center), December 15 at 3PM

Media enquiries: Stanislav Saling, tel +45 53 94 45 73 (mobile)

Participants Remarks by: 
Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chaiman, NDRC, Head of the Chinese Delegation
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator 
Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California

Panel debate with:
Zhao Baige, Vice-Minister, National Population and Family Planning Commission, China
Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and Development, Norway
Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP
Zou Ji, Professor, Renmin University 
Pan Jiahua, Professor, Centre for Urban Development and Environment, Chinese Academy of Social Science 
Johan Rockström, Professor, Stockholm Environmental Institute
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Professor, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Photo-op: Low-carbon growth does not need to include only advanced solutions to the challenges China and other countries face. Chinese authorities, in collaboration with UNDP, promotes the production and use of energy saving light bulbs (ESL) - with the potential of reduced carbon emissions resulting from the utilization of inefficient incandescent lamps by an estimated 4.4 million metric tons per year.

Using bicycles for short distance travel is another way of decreasing CO2-emissions: Mr Jet Li (actor) will be joined by Mr Khalid Malik (UNDP Resident Representative in China), Ms Zhao Baige, Vice-minister National Population and Family Planning Commission and Mr Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and Development, Norway for a short bicycle trip after the panel debate.

Description: China has already begun to move on a low carbon pathway, becoming a world leader in renewable energy technologies, installed capacity from renewable energy sources, and the manufacture of low-carbon vehicles and other products. However, as the largest developing country, China faces many challenges as well as opportunities in driving the transition to a low carbon economy.

Since the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, China’s economic growth has successfully lifted 500 million people out of poverty and has vastly expanded its provision of social services. However, that growth has also resulted in rapid urbanization and modernization which have amplified pressures on natural resources. It is estimated that in 20 years, China's cities will host 350 million additional people, creating an unprecedented demand for energy.

On the other side, the urbanization process provides an unprecedented opportunity for China in planning and creating sustainable cities with regard to construction, energy efficient buildings, transportation infrastructure and modes, water usage, public services, education schemes, green jobs. The challenge now is for China to choose patterns of growth that are harmonious with the promotion of socio-economic development and equality, continuing with the outcomes achieved by the adoption of “Xiaokang” society principles.


UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

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