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China to play greater role in environment

Zheng Jinran
Updated: Sep 5,2017 7:04 AM     China Daily

China will smooth the way for more dialogue and cooperation with other BRICS nations to promote exchanges of China’s environmental standards, technologies and equipment, the top environmental authority said.

“China will take advantage of its upward momentum and facilitate development-along with other member countries-on some agreed projects that require a little investment but yield significant results,” the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a written reply to questions from China Daily. “China will demonstrate that the five nations can work as a community on environmental issues.”

The ministry added that China will establish multiple channels for dialogue and cooperation among the five BRICS countries and promote exchanges of China’s high environmental standards, technologies and equipment to other countries.

The environmental ministers and senior officials of China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa met in Tianjin for a two-day conference that ended on June 23. It was the first time the environmental meeting had been hosted in China since 2015.

The BRICS countries-all emerging economies-account for 23 percent of world GDP and can play a major role in improving global management of the environment, Li Ganjie, China’s environmental minister, said at the meeting.

Climate change, ecological deterioration and frequent major natural disasters have become global environmental challenges, and countries can work together to tackle the problems, the minister said, adding that “the five countries have a broader space for environmental cooperation”.

At the meeting, the environment ministers and senior officials approved an agreement-the BRICS Partnership for Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative-which identified water and air pollution prevention, waste management, spatial planning and mobility as priority areas for cooperation.

The initiative will promote cooperation through joint efforts, such as holding policy dialogues, conducting research and setting up websites. “It’s expected that the details about the targets, action plans and implementation mechanisms will be given at next year’s environmental ministers meeting, aiming to promote the best practices for urban sustainability,” the ministry said in the reply.

In addition, China will participate in more joint efforts on building needed infrastructure to tackle air and water pollution and process solid waste to make cities smart and environmentally friendly, it added.

“The cooperation on environmental issues will improve the close relations of BRICS nations,” said Li Xia, a researcher at the China-ASEAN Environment Cooperation Center, an institute under the ministry.