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Strengthening Eco-environmental Protection Under New Circumstances

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-07-10

China has entered a new stage of development and embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country. In-depth implementation of the new development philosophy, accelerating the construction of a new development dynamic, and achieving high-quality development and a high quality of life have all posed new tasks and requirements for strengthening eco-environmental protection.

Strengthening eco-environmental protection under new circumstances is required to modernize the harmonious co-existence between human and nature. Civilizations thrive when their natural surroundings thrive, and they suffer when nature suffers. Human development must respect nature, adapt to nature, and protect nature; otherwise, nature will retaliate. Nobody can circumvent this law. As a large country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, China has limited environmental capacity and fragile ecosystems. To become a modern society, China must avoid the high-consumption, high-pollution model, as the pressure it exerts on resources and the environment is unsustainable. Rather, we must plan our economic and social development in a way that ensures harmonious coexistence between human and nature, protect the natural environment like we protect our own wellbeing, and continue to pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.

Strengthening eco-environmental protection under new circumstances is required to meet the people's desire for a better life. There is no public good or welfare fairer or more universally beneficial than a sound natural environment. People's desire for a beautiful environment is a major aspect of the new principal challenge in Chinese society. Especially since the achievement of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, people have developed even higher expectations for a beautiful environment and less tolerance for environmental problems. Restoring and improving the environment is a process that will require long-term and committed efforts. It will not be accomplished overnight. We must adopt a people-centered concept of development, concentrate on overcoming prominent environmental problems that impact the people directly, and continuously improve the quality of the eco-environment and people's sense of gain, fulfillment, and security regarding the environment.

Strengthening eco-environmental protection under new circumstances is required to promote high-quality development. China has started the transition from a phase of rapid growth to one of high-quality development. The latter reflects China's new development philosophy, and its most salient feature is environment-friendly development. China is a developing country still undergoing industrialization and urbanization, so our industrial and energy structures have not changed fundamentally. The tasks of reaching peak carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality are arduous, and the environment faces ever greater resource and environmental pressures. We must implement the new development philosophy fully and faithfully, maintain our strategic resolve to strengthen eco-environmental protection, and promote the green transformation of every aspect of economic and social development. We must also expedite reform of the quality, efficiency, and driving forces of economic development and base our economic and social development on the efficient use of resources as well as green and low-carbon development.

Strengthening eco-environmental protection under new circumstances is required to build a global community of shared future. Climate change, biodiversity loss, greater desertification, and frequent extreme climate events in recent years are threatening human survival and development. In the face of environmental challenges, humanity shares a common future, in which the prosperity or suffering of one affects all. As a responsible major country, China is working hard on eco-environmental protection, has resolutely abandoned the development model of damaging and even destroying the environment, and is seeking to solve environmental problems through promoting green development. These are central tenets of China's modernization path. This is not just about taking care of our own issues; it also serves as an alternative to the traditional development path for other developing countries. It is a prime example of the application of Chinese wisdom and solutions to global environmental problems. We must play our role as a participant, contributor, and leader in the movement to build a global community committed to eco-environmental protection, continuously amplify China’s voice and influence in the system of global environmental governance, and bring about greener, healthier, and more robust global development, so as to create a clean and beautiful world together.