China is doing its utmost to achieve this global goal: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 06, 2022 12:34 AM
The giant panda Si Hai is seen at the Panda House at Al Khor Park in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 17, 2022. The two giant pandas, three-year-old female Si Hai and four-year-old male Jing Jing, made their first public appearance on Thursday ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Photo: Xinhua

The giant panda Si Hai is seen at the Panda House at Al Khor Park in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 17, 2022. The two giant pandas, three-year-old female Si Hai and four-year-old male Jing Jing, made their first public appearance on Thursday ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Photo: Xinhua

The second part of the UN biodiversity summit, known as COP15, will kick off on December 7 in Canada's Montreal. This is a global event, and delegates representing more than 190 parties will negotiate in the regard of the "Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework" (framework). If the "framework" is approved, it will become a major achievement of human solidarity in tackling global problems. This is even more extraordinary today when division and conflict are common, and consensus and joint action are scarce. As the presidency of COP15, China is doing its utmost to achieve this goal.

This time the situation is special. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the overall arrangement of the UN, in the aftermath of the first part that was successfully held in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, last year, the second part of the COP15 was relocated to Montreal, where the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is located. The summit is still chaired under the presidency of China, leading the substantive and political affairs of the conference. China sent an official delegation composed of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the People's Government of Yunnan Province, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Montreal this time. Although the venue of the meeting has changed, it has not affected China performing and assuming various responsibilities of the presidency.

The approval of the "framework" requires the unanimous consent of more than 190 parties, the huge amount of work and the difficulties can be imagined. As the presidency, China needs to mediate among all delegations and organize a series of bilateral and multilateral talks to bridge differences and create consensus. According to the Chinese side, relevant negotiations have made positive progress, and the structure and core statements of the "framework" have basically taken shape, which will be both ambitious and realistic, and take the concerns of developing countries into account.

The lessons of the "Aichi Targets" should be noted. Global Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets for biodiversity were approved at the COP10 in 2010, with only six out of 20 biodiversity targets partially achieved. China has not only achieved better performance than the global average, but has also overfulfilled some goals. Holding the presidency of COP15, China has attached great importance to the accessibility and feasibility of targets and the differences in development among countries from the very beginning, and has shown constructiveness and flexibility in the consultations on the framework.

China and Canada have also conducted efficient and constructive cooperation on hosting the second part of the COP15 meeting, which was not hindered by the diplomatic issues between the two countries at the time. It is a kind of symbol. Some people even hope that this meeting will not only bring about a "framework" to save the natural world, but may also mend the rift between China and Canada. This good wish may be overthinking, but the facts have indeed proved that once the interference of unilateralism, geopolitics and ideology is excluded, the practical cooperation between China and Canada or between any countries will be a natural result. The severeness of global problems require all mankind to strengthen such international cooperation.

Climate change, environmental pollution and loss of biodiversity are three major environment issues in the world. According to data released by the UN, the speed of species extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than the normal rate, and 1 million species are in danger of extinction because of human activity. If the current trend cannot be stopped with firm determination, either humanity will lose their home on earth, or we ourselves will become the next "dinosaur" to face extinction. Chinese people have a profound recognition and understanding of biodiversity. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress pointed out that "Chinese modernization is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature.

China considers the issue of biodiversity and promotes global biodiversity protection process from the perspective of community of all life on Earth. Since the first part of the COP15 meeting, China also hosted almost 40 meetings of the presidium of the Convention on Biological Diversity, providing organizational arrangement and guidance for preparation and negotiation process of important meetings of the convention. 

COP15 is the first time that China hosts the largest world environmental protection conference. It can be said that China has done a good job, further demonstrating its international influence. In recent years, in coping with issues of climate change and loss of biodiversity, China has transformed its role from a follower, to an active participant, to current leader. This is not only required by Chinese modernization, but also a manifestation of Chinese modernization tallying with the world with a shared future.

Global issues are common challenges that no one in the world can avoid. The success of COP15 represents the ability of humanity to take action as a whole to deal with challenges, which is of great importance. China, as presidency of COP15, from the beginning to the end, focuses on doing things well in a down-to-earth manner, not claiming credit but always making sure to contribute its share to the success of the cause.