World Insights: China’s green BRI a boost to global climate governance

BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday summarized in a landmark resolution the sweeping, historic and transformative changes in its ecological and environmental protection endeavors.

The resolution, adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee held in Beijing last week, coincides with the country’s renewed version of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — a green BRI, resolving to “make green a defining feature of Belt and Road cooperation.”

From practicing at home the new concept of green development to promoting overseas low-carbon energy transformation and technological innovation among its Belt and Road partners, from technology exchanges to joint project management, China has been honoring its commitments to boosting common development and global climate governance.

ENERGY “OASIS”

In the mostly arid, desert-capped northeastern Kenyan county of Garissa, the neat and dense solar panels installed by China line up to form an “energy oasis,” having benefited thousands of families and businesses.

The Chinese-built 50 MW photovoltaic power station, the largest photovoltaic power station in East Africa, has witnessed commercial activities flourish in Garissa and other counties in the dry north as residents obtain uninterrupted power supply in an area plagued by frequent blackouts.

In Iraq’s Mesopotamia, desertification and soil salinization have long threatened to bury this cradle of one of humanity’s earliest civilizations in dust.

“My dream is to transfer what I learned from China to Iraq and turn deserts into oases,” said Sarmad Kamil Ali, deputy chief agricultural engineer of Iraq’s State Board of Combating Desertification, who was in China in 2013 to learn about sand control.

In tropical Ethiopia, China’s climate remote sensing satellite, orbiting more than 600 km above the ground, is working like a guardian angel for this “hometown of coffee,” to cushion the impact of climate change on coffee planting.

The China-donated micro satellite, part of an effort to implement China’s South-South cooperation project on climate change, was successfully launched in December 2019, to obtain multi-spectral remote sensing data in agriculture, forestry and water conservancy, disaster prevention and mitigation, and provide early warning of climate disasters.

China’s green energy projects and technical assistance overseas, carried out under the BRI framework that is increasingly low-carbon, have not only worked as a magic wand turing barren, tropical areas into energy “oasis,” but also helped fully harness the natural endowment of various countries.

In Thailand’ Sirindhorn Reservoir, China-assisted integrated floating PV project, one of the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid projects, has helped the country take a step closer to its green development target.

In Brazil, a country abundant in energy but limited by unequal distribution, an ultra-high-voltage (UHV) power transmission lane stretching north to south, co-built by China and Brazil, has significantly quenched energy need and enhanced efficiency.

The results of China’s South-South cooperation on climate change are visible, tangible and effective. Since 2011, China has allocated a total of 1.2 billion Yuan, signed 40 cooperation documents with 35 countries, and trained about 2,000 officials and technicians in the field of climate change for nearly 120 developing countries, doing its utmost to help developing countries enhance their capacity to cope with climate change.

NEW FRONTIER

Nestled in a valley at the foot of the Andes, the Chilean capital of Santiago is often shrouded in smog, especially in winter, when seasonal air inversions can trap pollutants over the city of 5.6 million people.

To combat smog and rein in greenhouse gas emissions, the Latin American country has been betting on electric vehicles from China as part of its plan to revamp its public transport system and advance clean mobility.

In December 2018, Chile unveiled the first 100 electric buses for Santiago’s transit fleet, manufactured by Chinese automaker BYD Electronic International Co. Ltd. One week later, another 100 electric buses, manufactured by China’s Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co. Ltd. joined the fleet.

Since the unveiling, the Wi-Fi enabled red-and-white buses, fitted with USB ports and air conditioners, have become a preferred means of transport for many of the city’s residents, who now can enjoy a cleaner, quieter, and more comfortable ride.

New energy vehicles from China have also hit the roads in Brazil, Mexico in Latin America and Finland in Europe, helping ease traffic congestion, curb emissions, and modernize commuting for a greener, more sustainable life.

At the Tencent WE Conference held on Nov. 6, Wang Chaoyang, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, said that developing new energy and tackling climate change is the common responsibility of mankind, and China’s advantages in technology, capacity and manufacturing costs have made a great contribution to the global development of new energy vehicles.

Chris Stark, Chief Executive of Britain’s Committee on Climate Change, said that the biggest benefits of the Green Belt and Road initiative for the world as a whole are industrial progress and lower costs of low-carbon energy production.

Now this green Belt and Road has stretched far beyond deserts, grasslands, rivers and oceans, to the glaciers — a major indicator of climate change.

Braving freezing temperatures and perennial gusts, Chinese and Argentine engineers have worked to build the Santa Cruz hydroelectric power station in Argentina, the world’s southernmost large-scale hydropower project, having taken into account the ecosystems in the periphery including glaciers and fish ladders.

In recent years, China has also worked closely with Iceland within the BRI framework to jointly develop and harness geothermal energy, a low-carbon, renewable energy.

The European country lying astride the Eurasian-North American plate boundary, boasts rich experience in the use of geothermal energy, and is highly complementary with China, which owns a large market, capital and platform for cooperation.

As humanity grapples with the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and an increasingly fickle climate, a joint response to climate change as a community with a shared future is an inevitable requirement for harmonious coexistence between man and nature. 

SOURCE: Xinhua, 19-Nov-2021

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-11/19/c_1310321035.htm

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