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UNEP hails China’s green efforts

(0528 CR M0)UNEP HAILS CHINA’S GREEN EFFORTS

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INTRO

Executive Director of the UN Environmental Program, Achim Steiner, has lauded China’s environmental protection efforts in the past 10 years.

Steiner made the remarks before a UN Environment Assembly that brought together environment ministers and experts in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

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Steiner on Friday said that in the past 10 years, China had undergone probably the most radical shift in terms of acknowledging the challenge of environmental degradation and pollution that he has witnessed in his career in any country.

Steiner’s ten-year tenure at the helm of the UN environmental agency comes to an end this summer

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ACHIM STEINER, Executive Director, UNEP
“I think if you look at the last 10 years not only has China undergone the radical shift in terms of technology, the challenge of environment degradation, pollution and change that I have witnessed in my career in any country, it has also moved attention from almost exclusive focus on industrialization, growth of GDP urbanization, infrastructure in sense of building up environment to now being the country that has put into five year plan the concept of transition towards ecological civilization that has become the largest manufacturer of renewable energy on the planet, that is likely to invest the largest amount of public finance into correcting this environmental challenges in its own economy.”

Official figures show China spent more than 56 billion U.S. dollars on energy conservation and environmental protection in the first 11 months in 2015, up more than 35 percent over a year ago.

A UNEP report this week said that besides hastening efforts to reach a target of 23 percent forest cover by 2020, China is also committed to scaling up investment in renewable energy and green transportation.

China is already the world’s largest investor in renewables excluding large hydro, with its 102.9 billion U.S. dollars in investment in 2015 representing more than one third of the global total.

Steiner also said China took global leadership by introducing the topic of “green finance” into the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in February, and had established a G20 study group on “green finance”.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): ACHIM STEINER, Executive Director, UNEP
“What makes us a society and economy of forwarders is when its people and its people acknowledge that there’s a problem and together start doing something about it and that’s what we see in China; not just the clean up operations that has happened in many countries but alongside the cleanup operations is a new vision for China’s future development.”

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