China backs Saudi low carbon initiative as G20 leaders seek joint climate action


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — China has thrown its weight behind Saudi Arabia's proposal for the carbon circular economy approach as the G20 leaders stressed the importance of the joint action to safeguard the planet, address climate change and preserve the environment in order to achieve a carbon-free world.

During a session titled "Safeguarding the Planet" on the second-day of the G20 Leaders' Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech said: “China applauds Saudi Arabia's initiative on Circular Carbon Economy, and supports the shift to low-carbon energy in the post-COVID era to achieve the goal of sustainable energy for all.”

Highlighting his country’s role in addressing the challenges arising out of climate change, the Chinese president said: “China has put in place the world's biggest clean energy system, and has led the world in the output and sales of new energy vehicles for five years running."

"Under the recommendations for formulating China's 14th five-year development plan and the long-range goals for 2035, China will pursue clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient use of energy and accelerate the growth of new energy and green industries to promote greener economic and social development in all respects.”

He called on the G20 to continue to take the lead in tackling climate change.

“We need to follow the guidance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and push for the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

Meanwhile, a number of G20 leaders stressed the importance of a joint action plan to safeguard the planet, address climate change, and preserve the environment in order to achieve a carbon-free world.

President Donald Trump stressed that the United States and the G20 have a tremendous opportunity to continue building towards a better environment and work together to protect the environment and promote access to clean and affordable energy.

In his speech, the US president said that "we have taken terrific steps to ensure that the United States is among the cleanest countries in air and water quality in the world."

“Together, we can protect our environment, promote access to clean, affordable energy, and deliver a future of opportunity, prosperity, and hope for our nations all over the world,” he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reasserted the significance of preserving the Earth's planet, protecting peoples as well as economies against the impacts of the COVID-19, in addition to concentrating on fighting climate change in an integrated and comprehensive manner.

In his speech, the Indian prime minister also pointed out that "climate change must be fought not in silos — but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic way. This is the best time for further increasing research and innovation in new and sustainable technologies. We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.”

"India is seeking to reduce the re-use of disposable plastic and expanding the forestation through reclaiming 26 million hectares of wastelands, by 2030, as well as encouraging the circular economy and betting on building the new generation of the infrastructures, such as metro-networks, sanitation, etc," the Indian premier added.

Prime Minister of Italy Professor Giuseppe Conte said in a speech that the next G20 leaders' summit 2021, to be held in Italy, will seek to enable ambitious, forward-looking agreements within the framework of the Rio conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification and the impact of the epidemic on social and economic systems.

He added that in our capacity as chair of the next G20 summit, we will focus on climate energy relations and on how to achieve a rapid transition to a carbon-free future and the basis for the natural economy.

He stressed that Saudi Arabia's proposal for the carbon circular economy approach would play a significant role in the transition.

"The urgent need to reduce emissions is inevitable. This should be the focus of all efforts to combat climate change," he added.

For his part, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison stressed that the year 2020 was a severe test, and we had to focus on the moment and the immediate response to the coronavirus.

In his speech, the Australian premier pointed out that the next year will be tough because the recovery is never easy and we must have an eye on the future, and we must safeguard our planet as it is an ongoing, long-term collective responsibility.