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President Hu Jintao's Speech at the Opening Plenary Session of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change


Join Hands to Address Climate Challenge

Statement by H.E. Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

At the Opening Plenary Session of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change

New York, 22 September 2009


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

Dear Colleagues,

Today, world leaders are gathered at the United Nations to discuss ways to tackle climate change. This is of great significance for catalyzing strong action by the international community to meet this global challenge.

Global climate change has a profound impact on the existence and development of mankind, and is a major challenge facing all countries. In the last 37 years, from Stockholm to Rio de Janeiro, and from Kyoto to Bali, we have made concerted efforts and achieved notable progress in protecting the global environment and tackling climate change. This is a historic process, through which all countries have deepened their understanding, built consensus and stepped forward to meet the challenge. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol have now been universally recognized as the primary channel to address climate change. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities has been established as the basis for closer international cooperation. And sustainable development and harmony between man and nature has become the common goal of all parties.

Climate change is an issue arising in the course of human development. It is associated with both natural factors and human activities. It is an environmental issue, but also, and more importantly, a development issue, as it is closely connected with the development stage, way of life, size of population and resource endowment of different countries and their places in the international division of labor. In the final analysis, we should and can only advance efforts to address climate change in the course of development and meet the challenge through common develop