Addressing environmental challenges while ensuring continuous economic growth is a major challenge for China but the inclusive and sustainable industrial development approach fostered by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the way forward, according to the UNIDO Director General.
“China faces the challenge of ensuring continuous economic growth, achieving a well-off society and improving environmental conditions. China’s successful economic and industrial development over the past decades has lifted hundreds of million people out of poverty; however it has left a considerable environmental footprint. Restoring the harmony between environment and economy can be achieved by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” said Director General LI Yong.
He was speaking as a Council Member at the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development (CCICED) taking place in Beijing. The CCICED is an international advisory body composed of high-level Chinese and international experts in the field of the environment and development. The topic of this year’s meeting, “Enabling governance capacity for green transformation”, is an issue of high priority in relation to China’s current development trends.
“Industry will play a central role in meeting China’s environmental challenges over the next years. I’m pleased to see the recent efforts that China has made in promoting less resource-intensive development, phasing out energy-intensive and highly polluting modes of production, and pursuing a circular economy. It is important for China to continue in the direction towards resource efficiency and sustainability.”
Li also said that China’s new development path has great significance for the rest of the world as it sets an example for other developing countries and can help the world transform from a traditional industrial civilization into an ecological civilization.
According to Li, CCICED remains an important platform for exchanges on sustainable development between China and the outside world, and UNIDO has a lot to offer in this field, particularly in the area of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. This approach is recognized in the United Nations’ recently adopted Agenda 2030, which features 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“UNIDO is strongly determined to deliver on its commitments to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development globally and it stands ready to assist China in this period of historic challenges. Together, we can shape a sustainable future that will be resource efficient, environmentally friendly, green and low carbon, fair and inclusive,” said Li.