At the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, held virtually on September 30th, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech during the opening session, alongside other UN leaders. Confronted with unprecedented challenges brought on by accelerating global biodiversity deterioration and the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi sent a clear message that more significant endeavours should be galvanized.

He underscored the importance of upholding multilateralism and fostering synergies for global environmental governance, since countries “share a common stake” and form “a community with a shared future.” Noting the tremendous need for a post-COVID 19 green recovery, Xi suggested to “have our eyes on the long run” and “stay the course for green, inclusive and sustainable development.”

The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” for developed and developing countries in tackling the challenges to the environment was also mentioned. He also stressed that developing countries’ concerns over funding, technology, and capacity building need to be factored in.

He underpinned the need to achieve balanced dynamics between ecological protection and economic development to explore the harmony between humans and nature. During the speech, he also revisited and shared some of China’s experiences in reining in biodiversity loss, and pledged to adopt more robust policies in the future.

Xi’s speech on biodiversity is another manifestation of China’s determination to further its sustainable and green path, following recent prominent pledges for China’s carbon emission to peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality 2060 during the United Nations General Assembly on September 22nd.

The Summit on Biodiversity focused on the theme, “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, “living in harmony with nature.”

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