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UN Secretary-General Focuses on Climate Change in China

24 July 2009: The UN Secretary-General made a two-day official visit to China, during which he focused on climate change. In the morning of 24 July 2009, he participated in the launch of the “Green Lights” programme, which promotes energy-saving lighting that could cut China's energy consumption by 8%. He stated that China's approach to climate change can demonstrate to the world that the country is ready to take up a global leadership role in the 21st century.

He added that, by investing in the green economy and green growth, China has an opportunity to leapfrog over decades of traditional development based on high polluting fuels.

The Secretary-General also referred to the UN climate change conference taking place this December in Copenhagen and stated that “Without China, there can be no success this year on a new global climate framework.” He also spoke to the alumni of the UN-China Advanced Leadership Programme in Beijing, an initiative supported by the UN, where he noted that China is already establishing itself in the greater use of renewable energy, with its renewable energy investments second only to Germany's. He underscored that China is well positioned to be a leader in what is shaping up as one of the main global marketplaces of the future.

In his bilateral meeting with President Hu Jintao, the Secretary-General discussed the Copenhagen negotiations this December, as well as the September Summit on climate change in New York. With Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, he discussed mitigation efforts to be undertaken by developing countries. [UN Secretary-General's remarks at the Advanced Leadership Programme][Secretary-General's Remark at the ‘green lights' programme launch]